Request for Proposal: Public Relations and Media Consulting


Request for Proposal
Public Relations and Media Consulting
IASLC 18th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC)
RFP Issued: March 15, 2017
Questions Accepted March 15-29, 2017
Deadline for Response: March 30, 2017


The most common cause of cancer death is lung cancer, which accounts for 1.6 million deaths annually. Despite the fact that lung cancer kills more Americans than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined, lung cancer research in the United States and other countries is underfunded. Further, there is a stigma attached to lung cancer not typically associated with other cancers. There has been a decrease in the incidence of smoking in the United States, but smoking cessation in other parts of the world has not decreased similarly.

Progress in lung cancer treatment has been rapid, making lung cancer a role model for precision medicine.

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated solely to the study of lung cancer. Founded in 1974, the association's membership includes more than 5,000 lung cancer specialists in over 100 countries.

IASLC members work to enhance the understanding of lung cancer among scientists, members of the medical community and the public. The IASLC publishes the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, a valuable resource for medical specialists and scientists who focus on the detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer.

The IASLC mission is:

  • to embrace the study of the etiology, epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and all other aspects of lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies;
  • to provide education and information about lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies to IASLC members, to the medical community at large and to the public;
  • to use all available means to eliminate lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies as a health threat for the individual patient and throughout the world.

As a part of our mission, the IASLC holds annual meetings (averaging 6,000 attendees from throughout the world) where medical doctors, scientists, nurses, health professionals, government officials, industry partners, health advocacy groups and patients come together to obtain and exchange information on advances in the management of lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies, while considering both global and regional aspects.

The IASLC has a small communications staff and seeks help attracting widespread, worldwide coverage of our annual conference.


The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) requests proposals for public relations and media relations work surrounding the annual IASLC World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC), held Oct. 15-17 in Yokohama, Japan ( Assistance is needed writing press releases, pitching stories, organizing press conferences and cultivating media relationships in the lead-up to and during the WCLC. In particular, a focus should be given to pitching stories to media outlets around the world.  Firms that apply must have medical writers and international experience. The specific tasks for this assignment include:

  • Working with IASLC staff to determine which scientific abstracts merit media promotion
  • Developing fact sheets and press kits for the meeting
  • Creating key messages for the media
  • Helping with a media training document/session for doctors, Board members, and IASLC leadership
  • Developing international media lists and pitching stories to media around the world, before, during and after the conference.
  • Providing consultation on best practices to attract media coverage of the conference
  • Writing press releases based off approximately  10-16 scientific abstracts (medical writing experience necessary, cancer experience preferred)
  • Reaching out to registered media
  • Assisting IASLC staff with social media strategy and implementation
  • Assisting with 4 daily press conferences during the meeting
  • Responding to media requests for information about the WCLC and conference abstracts
  • Establishing and enforcing media policies to govern media behavior on-site at the WCLC

See previous WCLC coverage here:

At our previous WCLC, the IASLC and its PR partner secured nearly 3,000 media mentions, more than 300 original stories and trended each day of the conference on social media. We seek a firm that can increase these numbers while also understanding cultural considerations of holding press conferences in Japan.


This plan is intended to cover the period from May 15 through November 15, 2017. This will allow for preparation, meeting coverage and follow-up after the meeting. Little work (planning, pre-conference promotion and creating of fact sheets) will occur until after abstracts are accepted (around August 1, 2017).


Activities will begin May 15 to create initial PR materials needed to support and promote the IASLC 18th WCLC.

Traditional Media Lists

The IASLC seeks a firm to create a print, broadcast/cable, radio and online media list targeting

  • Professional and trade journals
  • Domestic and international consumer media (sorted by country)

Announce, Promote, Invite

Pre-meeting work to include:

  • Sending announcements and invitations to all media who have attended previous meetings
  • Sending announcements and invitations to all media who have not attended previous meetings but who have covered one or more meetings
  • Sending announcements, invitations and an advance press kit to key media who have not attended previous meetings and may be unfamiliar with the IASLC and the WCLC
    • Advance press kit will contain a rundown of key studies that have been presented in the past, luminaries involved in the IASLC and plans for the focus of the meeting
  • Issuing press releases about the upcoming meeting
  • Issuing preview bulletins highlighting key WCLC presenters and abstracts

As the meeting date approaches, PR firm should confirm which members of the media will be attending the WCLC. Reporters unable to attend but with an interest in the conference should be contacted, and editors at trade publications for oncology, as well as writers for other medical and consumer media who cover oncology, should be contacted in the weeks prior to the WCLC to offer telephone interviews during the meeting.

*Note: the IASLC works with a conference planning company that handles the media registration process, but PR firm is needed to vet those registrations and to manage relationships with media.

Social Media

Working with the IASLC staff, PR firm should create and launch a social media program. This program should launch immediately and be used to deliver the IASLC message, promote the meeting and highlight core values of the IASLC brand. Professionally-oriented messaging will:

  • Draw attention to important lung cancer studies
  • Provide information on new pharmaceutical treatments and drug approvals
  • Highlight information on lung cancer prevention and screening
  • Illustrate importance of tobacco cessation and ongoing tobacco control efforts worldwide
  • Engage the public with key IASLC messages
  • Offer important reminders of upcoming deadlines and critical information regarding conference logistics

Firm will work with the IASLC to identify meeting focus and key presentations. Social media messaging will communicate these topics as an additional reason to attend and/or cover the meeting.

By-lined Articles

Firm will assist in completing by-lined articles for trade, professional and consumer media (Around August 1 after confirmation of accepted abstracts).

Media Training

The IASLC would like for selected firm to conduct a review of media skills with key IASLC spokespersons and stakeholders. The best time for this would be immediately at the beginning of the conference (Saturday/Sunday, October 14/15), before the media interviews commence on site in Yokohama.

Material Preparation

Firm will prepare all materials needed for the WCLC, including:

  • Press Releases
  • Media Kit
  • Key Messages Document
  • Spokesperson Question and Answer Guide/Talking Points  


Press Room

Firm will staff a Press Room for the duration of the meeting. At the WCLC, there will be 2 designated press interview rooms, one large press workroom and one press conference room. All media will be directed to the Press Rooms for interviews, to obtain copies of press releases, for daily press briefings and any other support needed to facilitate coverage of the meeting and presentations. In anticipation of early arrival by attendees and the media, it is suggested that the Press Room be open and staffed beginning October 15. It is estimated that this staffing will require one staff member to:

  • Staff live and phone interviews
  • Manage press room and media members not attending the meeting
  • Run daily press briefings and circulate through the meeting as needed


Specialized medical press, healthcare writers and the general public.

Daily Press Briefing

All members of the media attending the meeting will be invited to the daily press briefing where the day’s press releases will be introduced. Additionally, IASLC spokespersons and key presenters may also provide summaries of notable meeting highlights. Media not attending the meeting will have access to the daily press briefing via live streaming (conducted by IASLC conference planner).

Traditional Media Interviews

Firm will schedule, in advance when possible, interviews as requested by media attending the WCLC. Firm will brief the IASLC spokesperson before each interview, staff the interview, report the results and follow up with editors after the meeting to encourage coverage.

Traditional Media Phone Interviews

For those members of the media who wish to cover the meeting but who will not attend, firm should set up phone interviews. Additional media requests that come during the meeting, most likely in response to the press releases, will also be scheduled. Along with IASLC staff, firm should brief the IASLC spokesperson before each interview, staff the interview, report the results and follow up with editors after the meeting to encourage coverage.

Social Media

In conjunction with IASLC staff, firm should create and post multiple messages daily during the meeting to all IASLC social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. These messages will feature the day’s press release, any relevant declarations, key presentations and direct quotes from IASLC speakers.


Firm should use the period after the meeting to follow-up with the media to facilitate their coverage of the meeting and its content, following up with traditional media, social media and by-lined articles.

Firm should also provide a comprehensive post-conference summary, tracking all media coverage and analyzing successes. They should also provide suggestions for media coverage for future meetings.


  • Press Releases
    • Key Messages Document
    • Spokesperson Question and Answer Guide
    • Media Kit:   
      • IASLC fact sheet
      • IASLC message statement
      • IASLC spokesperson bios
      • Lung cancer fact sheet
      • Conference Announcements and Initiatives
      • Executive summary of key WCLC presentations
      • Keynote speaker bio
      • Other materials as needed


There is the potential for an ongoing PR retainer. The IASLC hosts the WCLC meetings annually, with the location rotating between North America, Europe and Asia. In addition, the IASLC conducts a number of other regularly-scheduled meetings throughout the year. 

Please include a response with pricing and details to:

Becky Bunn, Public Relations Manager, and
Colleen Miller, Director of Communications,
Please copy both email addresses with questions.


March 15, 2017