PRWeek Awards - Campaign of the Year

Winner

Fleishman-Hillard: ERASEing the Divide: Giving Underprivileged NYC Kids a Clean Slate in Fighting Asthma

Fleishman-Hillard’s program to close the gap in asthma...

Winner

Fleishman-Hillard: ERASEing the Divide: Giving Underprivileged NYC Kids a Clean Slate in Fighting Asthma

Fleishman-Hillard’s program to close the gap in asthma treatment for children displayed a combination of strategy, in-depth research, and community leadership. It sets an outstanding example for the entire industry, and richly deserves the accolade of PRWeek Campaign of the Year.

Motivated by the frustrations of employees whose children had asthma, a group of Fleishman senior staffers researched the disease and discovered a divide in treatment: specialty care was readily available for those who could afford it, but the underserved faced limited access to even routine medical care.

Fleishman called on New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein for support, and Project ERASE was born. Its goal was to bring specialists to local schools to provide underserved kids access to diagnosis, advice on treatment, and management of asthma and allergies at no cost.

Fleishman forged ahead on the project with no client and no budget, which impressed the judges. “It’s what we should be doing as an industry,” said one judge, “It’s where community relations is going.”

The program aimed to identify two pilot New York City public schools with a high incidence of asthma and the appropriate student constituency; reduce school absences, hospitalizations, and emergency room visits of participants; and create a replicable model for use in additional local schools, then regionally and nationally. The firm also sought to involve the community and structure the program as a public-private sector initiative.

Through research, Fleishman selected two schools. Working closely with principals and parent coordinators, Fleishman created eye-catching posters and placed them throughout the schools. Postcards describing the program and asthma triggers were distributed to parents.

ERASE medical and executive directors spoke at school events attended by parents, and group meetings were held with parents and doctors.

The specialists were not permitted to prescribe medicine, give injections, or do invasive testing at school, so the firm looked to the kids’ primary care physicians to collaborate on treatment – making it a true community outreach effort.

Public and private sector partnerships were secured, including with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and the New Jersey Nets’ Richard Jefferson, who himself has severe asthma.

Media outreach included a press conference featuring the chancellor, ERASE medical and executive directors, principals from the two schools, and Jefferson.

The ERASE pilot program ran the full school year in both schools. Fifty-one children enrolled, with absences falling from 128 to 57 compared to the previous school year. Hospitalizations also decreased from 26 to six, and ER visits declined from 40 to 30. That all resulted in savings of approximately $135,000 for New York City.

Project ERASE continues in both pilot schools and has expanded to two additional city schools.

Honorable Mention

GolinHarris and Nintendo of America: Nintendo Helps Seniors and Baby Boomers Get Their Game On

Nintendo and GolinHarris were put to the test with the launch of Brain Age. The “mental fitness” game is designed for consumers 35 and older, not the gaming community’s typical demographic.Research showed that a “mental fitness” trend was prevalent in the target market, noting the benefits of brain exercise for continuing quality of life. A desk-side media tour was launched to demonstrate Brain Age for 18 media outlets, such as AARP: The Magazine, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal. Dr. Elizabeth Zelinsky, dean of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, served as a third-party spokeswoman to add credibility. Golin and Nintendo hosted “Grandparents Get Their Game On” events, and teamed with Emerald Heights, a senior center in Nintendo’s home of Redmond, WA, to bring the game to active seniors. At press time, Brain Age has sold 600,000 units in the Americas and 4 million worldwide.

Finalists 2007

  • Bank of America with Emanate and Fleishman-Hillard: SafeSend Helps Unbanked Hispanics Save Money on Mexican Mother’s Day

  • Fleishman-Hillard: ERASEing the Divide: Giving Underprivileged NYC Kids a Clean Slate in Fighting Asthma

  • GolinHarris and Nintendo of America: Nintendo Helps Seniors and Baby Boomers Get Their Game On

  • GolinHarris and Piedmont Hospital: “Soul Search”– Piedmont Hospital’s Employee Referral Campaign

  • Goodman Media International and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement: 100,000 Lives Campaign

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