- Success Story
- National Center for PTSD
National Center for PTSD, Department of Veterans Affairs: Connecting more people who have experienced trauma to services and programs related to PTSD
The National Center for PTSD supports all those who have experienced trauma or who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In just 2 years of working with the Granicus Experience Group (GXG) and supporting outreach tools, the National Center for PTSD’s audience increased from 100,000 subscribers to over 375,000. With a new understanding of its growing audience, the Center’s annual pledge support during PTSD awareness month increased by 400%.
- 375K subscribers (up from 100,000)
- 71% new subscribers since Spring 2019
- 35K new subscribers so far in 2021
- 400% increase in pledges of support from individuals and businesses
Increasing Awareness and Gaining Visibility From New Audiences
The mission of the National Center for PTSD is to advance the clinical care and social welfare of America’s Veterans and others who have experienced trauma, or who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The Center does this through research, education, and training related to the treatment of PTSD.
The Center needed to expand its reach to have a greater impact on those impacted by trauma. They started a digital newsletter that was helpful for its existing audience, but it wasn’t contributing to greater awareness or audience growth. In other words, they were reaching the same people again and again.
“These people were used to getting our content,” said Willoughby. “What we needed was to expand our reach – and quickly.”
With a Team Stretched Thin, The Center Partnered with Outside Digital Experts
After months of testing other tactics like paid media and paid advertising, the National Center for PTSD reached out to other communications departments within the Department of Veterans Affairs for advice. One department, the MyHealthVet program, had experienced great success partnering with the Granicus Experience Group (GXG) – Granicus’ in-house team of digital experts and strategists – to conduct audience research, set up targeted digital messaging campaigns, and surpass over 1 million subscribers.
In 2019, the Center launched a partnership with GXG and began leveraging its email, text, and social software tool called govDelivery. Working as an extension of the Center’s team, digital experts at GXG were able to interview Veterans and stakeholders to better understand their needs and motivations. Armed with that information, the GXG team built a series of campaigns that could include messaging more tailored to the different audience types.
For Willoughby, the journey mapping exercise that the GXG team conducted was a game changer. In the exercise, the GXG team guided the Center’s team through each engagement touchpoint of their primary personas. Alone, these events may seem less significant. But together, it was possible to see the full customer journey and what identified clear priorities for improvement.
A 400% Increase in Pledges of Support for PTSD Awareness
In the 2 years working with the GXG team, the National Center for PTSD’s audience has increased from 100,000 subscribers to over 375,000. They’ve set up various audience segmentations and are able to more directly engage them with relevant information.
One example of how this foundational work has made an impact on the Center’s goals happened during the most recent PTSD Awareness Month. Each year, the Center promotes a program in June that encourages organizations to make a pledge to raise awareness of PTSD. In its first year, the Center received 100 pledges. Last year, after the massive growth in audience and strategic communications work, they received 500 pledges.