Helping a med-tech innovator give themselves the credit they deserve, and getting it in return.


Stryker is one of the largest medical device companies in the United States. Founded largely as an orthopedic device firm that championed hip and knee replacement technology, the brand had continuously evolved since its creation, with constant expansion into new markets globally and new specialties. Despite the company’s burgeoning size, enviable market leadership and impressive financial performance, the media rarely gave Stryker credit for its success. At the same time, competitors like Zimmer, Wright Medical and Medtronic took a comprehensive, proactive approach to corporate communications and regularly offered expert commentary that resulted in greater share of voice over Stryker, a conservative company when it comes to media relations.

What we did to help

We identified immediately that Stryker needed both a strong spokesperson who could project a message across divisions and break down company silos, as well as leadership-oriented platforms it could latch onto and own. We set out to work closely with then CEO Stephen MacMillan and his executive peers across all divisions to position MacMillan and his team as thought leaders within the medical device industry.

We devised a program based on research and language that highlighted Stryker’s broad technology portfolio and rich history as a global technology innovator and job creator, and worked together to secure national, trade and broadcast media opportunities for MacMillan and his team. Specifically valuable were opportunities where Stryker representatives could offer commentary on issues impacting healthcare and manufacturing in the United States and abroad. We led the launch and communications material development of various devices including the Triathlon Total Knee and Matrix2 Detachable Coils. Furthermore, we secured print, online and broadcast opportunities for MacMillan and his team to comment on the impacts of the Affordable Care Act and the Medical Device Tax on both company operations and the larger medical manufacturing sector.

Work we did

  • Public Relations
  • Experiential
  • Creative
  • Research
  • Media
TV Spots with Stryker's former CEO on Fox and CNBC
iPhone screenshot of Gizmodo's writeup about Stryker's initiatives
USA Today newspaper showcasing articele for Stryker's integrated, natural media campaign.

What happened next

Results have been positive and Stryker is finally getting a fair share of the media spotlight. Since the plan’s implementation we have seen Stryker through several years of earnings communications activities, FDA reviews, and approval panels and clinical data releases at industry conferences and through several media channels. Further, we’ve supported Stryker through product and plant mergers, handling the positive points of new technology acquisitions and the more sensitive points of job reductions, plant scale-backs and regulatory matters. All with the end result of getting a consistent message out to the right audience.