Objective: The March of Dimes aims to put the issue of premature births at the forefront this election season with its Petition for Preemies. Launched at a volunteer leadership meeting in Houston October 17, the effort encourages the public to help reduce the rate of premature births in the US by signing an online petition that calls for certain actions.
Idea: “The overarching message is that it is time for the nation to do more to help moms have healthy babies and have full-term babies,” said Doug Staples, SVP of strategic marketing and communications for March of Dimes. The organization hopes to overcome the challenge of competing with the election in the media by coming up with a campaign that ties into the legislative process, he added.
Tools: The online petition has been gaining signatures since October 1, and March of Dimes is using the Internet for outreach, including its Web site, widgets, and Facebook and MySpace pages. The View's Sherri Shepherd, whose son was born prematurely a few years ago, came on as celebrity spokeswoman and participated in an RMT on October 17. Phase two of the campaign will take place November 12 with the 6th annual Prematurity Awareness Day, when the organization will release its first Preterm Report Card, which rates states and the country on the rate of preterm births.
Measurement: Success will not only be measured by the number of signatures on the petition, but also through the number of changes instituted due to the effort, like its call for hospital leaders to voluntarily review all premature births to ensure they were medically necessary.
Company: March of Dimes
Campaign: Petition for Preemies
PR Team: In-house
Launch: October 17