Zilveren Kruis: a burnout is also a workplace accident

Zilveren Kruis 2018

50 million reach with a PESO approach

In 2016 Zilveren Kruis introduced the Dutch workforce to the negative effects of sleeping problems. To once again reach this target audience in 2017, the health insurer asked us to set up a PR campaign around the theme ‘burnouts’. But how do we make something that has been all over the news over the past few years newsworthy?

In fact, we fairly recently saw an explosion of publications on burnouts. We therefore looked for an angle which is relevant to both the employee and the employer. ‘A burnout is also a workplace accident’ turned out the perfect approach judging from the 130 publications within 48 hours after the launch.


During the concepting phase of this campaign in 2016, several companies weren’t available for comment about burnouts. Strange, especially when you know that the numbers don’t lie. It’s occupational disease number one. We wanted to work with this contradiction. Together with Kantar Public we got to the bottom of things and guess what, whenever an employee suffers from a burnout, it’s considered their fault. Fairly little is done to change the workplace. That insight became the angle for our campaign. According to 65 percent of the employees that have suffered from a burnout, a burnout is also a workplace accident. Professor of Occupational and Organisational Psychology at the Erasmus University Arnold Bakker and experience expert (and now burnout coach) Kirsten Nelis gave their interpretation of the research results. The combination of a strong insight, good support based on research and the interpretation of the specialists worked.


By means of a PESO PR campaign (paid, earned, social and owned), Zilveren Kruis made their marketing goals by far. Thanks in part to a full minute item on the RTL Nieuws, the campaign reached more than 50 million people. The campaign was also featured in amongst others Metronieuws, Het Financieele Dagblad, Algemeen Dagblad, Nu.nl, Radio 1, Q-music, Hart van Nederland and many health and HR and business titles. We also created content for Zilveren Kruis’s content platform which was shared on the social channels of the health insurer. In all cases, experienced experts, scientists and companies coloured the message.

Reach, impact and a new insight


Senior PR Consultant

“This campaign shows that a subject which has already been discussed in the media many times can still be newsworthy when choosing the right angle. The combination of a smart pr domain (‘a burnout is also a workplace accident’), thorough research, a professor and an experience expert resulted in reach, impact and added a new insight to the discussion."

Relevant cases