FPA’s Sterilization Packaging Manufacturers Council (SPMC)® celebrated its first Sterile Packaging Day on March 10. The online event garnered support from all corners of the supply chain, culminating in dozens of posts, stories, and videos on social media throughout the day.
“The idea for Sterile Packaging Day began in 2019 as a way to raise awareness for the value of sterilizable medical packaging,” says Don Alip, director of product excellence, health care at Amcor Flexibles. With the support of SPMC®’s leadership, an application was submitted to and approved by Chase’s Calendar of Events, making the day official.
“The pandemic hit as we were in the planning process, and suddenly Sterile Packaging Day took on added meaning,” adds Alip, who also chairs SPMC®’s Marketing Committee. With doctors, nurses, and emergency medical staff on the frontlines, SPMC® wanted to acknowledge those who were giving their all to patient care. Recognizing, thanking, and supporting health care professionals became one of SPMC®’s suggested ways to celebrate Sterile Packaging Day, and it immediately gained traction.
To help the entire industry mark the occasion, SPMC® developed a dedicated webpage, detailing the event’s purpose and its foundational pillars—patient safety, peace of mind, and supply chain strength. The page featured a statement from SPMC® Chair Dhuanne Dodrill, PAXXUS, Inc. CEO, on five tips for celebrating Sterile Packaging Day. It also had custom-developed shareable graphics and handouts, and a complete downloadable event tool kit.
SPMC®’s LinkedIn strategy focused on the promotion of Sterile Packaging Day through creative posts, custom graphics, and the hashtag #SterilePackagingDay. The council’s member companies boosted engagement through their social media channels, too.
On March 10, the SPMC® aired a video about Sterile Packaging Day on its webpage and LinkedIn. The video featured the voices of representatives from SPMC®’s member companies as they thanked all of those who design, develop, produce, package, sterilize, test, open, and rely on sterile packaging. To date, the video has been watched over 300 times.
Sterile Packaging Day attracted trade press coverage and interest from partner organizations, as well. DuPont™ Tyvek® amplified SPMC®’s LinkedIn posts, recorded a fireside chat discussion with Technipaq, Inc.’s Jay Virgil, vice president of sales and marketing, and Brian Rosenburg, president, and developed a video explaining what Sterile Packaging Day meant to them.
Charlie Webb of SPOT (Sterile Packaging On Track) Radio recorded a podcast about Sterile Packaging Day with Alip, and MD+DI produced a Facebook Live event with Brandon Fisher, director of sales, PPC Flexible Packaging. Henk Blom, vice president of research and technology at PAXXUS, and Marie Tkacik, director of product development and optimization at Beacon Converters, Inc., were featured in a podcast and in-depth story for MD+DI, and “Packaging Digest” published several articles about the event. It also was part of a main feature in the May/June issue of FlexPack VOICE®: “Packaging for Patient Care: Sterile Packaging Helps Medical Professionals Save Lives.”
“At the end of the day, patient safety is at the heart of sterile packaging,” explains Amy Stewart, product development manager at Printpack Medical. “Sterile Packaging Day gave us the perfect platform to raise our collective voices and celebrate everyone who works to produce and deliver this silent hero of health care.”
Lourdes Pogue is a marketing consultant at C5 Communications in Richmond, Virginia. Reach her at Lourdes@C5CI.com.