PRWeek Awards - Public Sector Campaign of the Year

Winner

Fleishman-Hillard Kansas City and Kansas City,MO,Health Dept.: Did you take syPHILis Home Last Night?

Alarmed by a startling jump in syphilis cases in...

Winner

Fleishman-Hillard Kansas City and Kansas City,MO,Health Dept.: Did you take syPHILis Home Last Night?

Alarmed by a startling jump in syphilis cases in the Kansas City metropolitan area – an estimated increase of 300% in one year – the Kansas City, MO, Health Department (KCMOHD) hired Fleishman-Hillard to develop a campaign to increase area awareness about the risk of syphilis, inform high-risk populations in particular about testing and treatment, and boost the number of tests.

The resulting two-month campaign by Fleishman – called “Did You Take syPHILis Home Last Night?” – delighted judges, who called it “hilarious” and “awesome.” The three target audiences, as identified by case tracking by the KCMOHD, were openly gay men, who would find edgy, flamboyant messages appealing; men who have sex with men, who may do so “on the down low” and do not necessarily consider themselves homosexual, and respond better to more traditional messaging; and sex workers, who would respond most favorably to messaging delivered by peers.

Understanding that communications focused on fear would be less likely to succeed with populations already engaged in illegal or high-risk behavior, the campaign chose to tailor the messaging to each of the particular groups. For instance, a total of 2,400 glow-in-the-dark bracelets printed with the message “Syphilis – It’s Treatable. Get Tested” and the phone number for confidential testing was given out to nightclubbers at 10 local venues.

Also distributed to nightclubs, community centers, restaurants, adult bookstores, and businesses were business cards called “trick cards” that included similar messaging and the confidential phone number. The KCMOHD staff and other workers at street testing sites wore T-shirts with the messaging and phone number, and posters with the information were also put up at 65 area venues. Some 30 volunteers from local organizations and universities helped distribute the trick cards and posters, including through visits to nightclubs and other locations. In addition, a local celebrity drag queen named Flo was recruited to incorporate the messaging into her thrice-weekly drag shows, tape PSAs, conduct media interviews, and make appearances at nightclubs in costume to help spread the word.

Local and national media were wowed by the campaign, which collected more than 8 million media impressions, including stories in the Kansas City Star and by the Associated Press, and interviews by two radio stations and the four major local network TV stations. More concretely, the campaign conducted 178 on-site tests, some of which also included HIV testing, and helped lead to an increase in testing of 62% compared with 2004.

Honorable Mention

Allison & Partners and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District: Sparing the Air for a Healthier Bay Area

To improve air quality during the annual summer smog season, the Bay Area Quality Management District hired Allison & Partners for a media-relations campaign that, among other things, reached out to recent immigrants, promoted free rides on the region’s BART subway system, and stressed small, everyday actions local residents could take to help “Spare the Air.” Outreach focused on the 11 total Spare the Air days in 2006, with calls initiated to media to ensure coverage of the free transportation options. Judges said the effort’s “very solid delivery” also included outreach to ethnic media outlets using bilingual Air District representatives. In the 15-year history of the campaign, 2006 was its most successful. An estimated 10% of drivers left their cars at home at least once during the period, up about 35% from 2005. In addition, ridership on public transit during Spare the Air days rose 124% compared with the prior year.

Finalists 2007



  • Allison & Partners and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District: Sparing the Air for a Healthier Bay Area

  • Fleishman-Hillard and the New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services: Postpartum Depression: Speak Up When You’re Down!

  • Fleishman-Hillard Kansas City and Kansas City, MO, Health Dept.: Did you take syPHILis Home Last Night?

  • MWW Group and New Jersey Family Care: Affordable Healthcare: Taking it to the Streets

  • Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Screening Saves Lives: Building Awareness. Engaging Communities. Leveraging Partners


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.