Edelman and American Heart Association's Go Red For Women Initiative: Go Red For Women 2007-08 Untold Stories Campaign
Edelman and the American Heart Association had the story of Patricia Henderson in mind with the Go Red for Women 2007-08 Untold Stories Campaign. Henderson, 44 at the time, had an active lifestyle and never dealt with anything more serious than a sinus infection when she suffered a heart attack. Although heart disease claims almost one woman's life per minute, only one in every five women surveyed by the campaign in 2006 said they viewed it as a significant health threat. The PR team also found that even women who thought of heart disease as a threat failed to personalize it.
Therefore, the PR team aimed to generate awareness that heart disease is the number-one killer of women by driving females to GoRedForWomen.org. The effort also sought to accelerate fundraising for education, scientific outreach, and media outreach, with a goal of raising from $180 million to $200 million by 2010.
One judge said the effort was a “terrific campaign that utilized all forms of the media to impact diverse audiences.” Another judge added the initiative was “a solid, integrated campaign” and “noncontroversial, with a health awareness message to increase future participation across the various participant [groups].”
To personalize the effort, the PR team showed examples of “women like me” who were affected by heart disease because research showed that women are most likely to believe and act on information that is delivered by their peers. Therefore, the PR team sought to create forums, both offline and online, where women could share their stories of heart disease to motivate others into action.
The initiative did generate awareness that heart disease is a top killer of women, as 65% of women said they were now aware of that fact, up from 57% in 2006. In addition, the use of Marie Osmond, whose mother and grandmother both died of heart disease, as the celebrity spokesperson helped in this regard.
The initiative also drove women to GoRedForWomen.org to join and take heart check-ups. The Web site saw 75,000 additional unique visitors per month, while more than 220,000 new women signed up and more than 700 sent in casting call submissions. The campaign also accelerated Go Red For Women fundraising for education, scientific outreach, and medical research, attaining 70% of its fundraising goals – due, in part, to increased excitement created by the campaign.
One judge called the effort “an effective integrated campaign that raised awareness,” while another commended it for being “amazingly creative and [having a] high impact.”
Powell Tate and The Corporation for Public Broadcasting: My Source, a Public Awareness Initiative
Public broadcasting stations are respected institutions with solid audience bases. Yet in an effort to increase that audience, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Powell Tate launched a joint public awareness initiative, aimed at joining PBS and NPR in one effort. The key strategic decision was to enlist the public broadcasting system's loyal audience members as advocates and ambassadors. So, Powell Tate developed the My Source platform, which grew to 180 stations in nearly 50 states. From celebrities to the general public, viewer/listeners offered essays on how public broadcasting impacted their lives. One judge called it an “effective campaign that put life and energy into a tough market.” The effort featured “solid strategy and execution,” noted a second judge, while a third said it was a “great public issue and a very integrated campaign.”
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