The brief: Lead marketing and PR for the world’s first telesurgery as surgeons in NYC remove the gall bladder of a patient in an operating room in Strasbourg, France.
The project spanned more than a year and had a host of partners and vendors who were all eager to be recognized for the achievement; France Telecom, AT&T, several academic institutions and even DARPA all played a role. Managing partner expectations became as challenging as creating the PR campaign.
Months of negotiations resulted in embargoed news exclusives for several partners: NBC Nightly News, Dateline, The Today Show, Time magazine, USA Today, and others. The surgery was performed successfully on Sept. 7, 2001, and all press events were to be preceded by a live global press conference scheduled for the morning of September 13 originating from the Sheraton New York Times Square hotel.