Case Study: Media Relations: The Forsyth Institute


The Forsyth Institute is a small, independent nonprofit organization originally founded in 1910 to provide free care for Boston schoolchildren. Over the years, Forsyth shifted its focus to biomedical research, with the ultimate goal of improving the overall health of the public.

Working with Forsyth senior management, scientists and the development team, HarrisCom developed and executed an award-winning external communications strategy incorporating marketing messaging,  media relations, communications coaching and writing.

Marketing Messaging:
At the outset of our engagement, we wrote descriptive materials for use in a variety of  contexts. The descriptors were  one-sentence, three-sentence, a paragraph and a page in length.

Media Relations
Among other highlights, we wrote and disseminated press releases about research on a vaccine for dental cavities, tooth regeneration, power toothbrushes, the use of blue light to eradicate gum disease, and a bacterial test for oral cancer.

One discovery was covered by nearly 700 news outlets.

Other coverage led directly to the signing of an option to commercialize a technology expected to lead to the regeneration of human teeth; to a six-figure grant for research on a deadly bacterial disease that kills or maims some 100 thousand children a year; to an enhanced institutional image leading to requests for collaborations and training; and to numerous corporate collaboration and investment opportunities.

Media Coaching and Training
We also provided media coaching and training seminars to help scientists both articulate their ideas and findings to reporters without divulging proprietary information.

Writing and photography 
We wrote articles and took photographers which were published by trade publications,  the CBS Discovery Channel and in Forsyth’s annual report.

As a result of this work, Harris Communications won four prestigious Bell Ringer and two International Communicator Awards.