WASHINGTON: The Department of Veterans Affairs is sticking with JR Reingold & Associates as its PR vendor on the “Make the Connection” mental health awareness and stigma-reduction campaign.
The one-year renewal is worth $6.3 million. The scope of work includes maintaining and updating the identity of the campaign, strategies for collaborating with national partners, video, multimedia, social media, and website development and support. There is also a media planning and buying component.
The effort highlights personal testimonials and resources that help veterans discover ways to improve their lives as they work through issues such as mental health treatment.
“Many of the nation's veterans, from those who served in World War II to those involved in current conflicts, return not only with physical wounds but also mental health issues they may not recognize,” said Josephine Schuda, a public affairs specialist at the VA.
VA kicked off the initiative in November 2011. Early last year, it gave Reingold a contract worth just less than $12 million to continue work on the effort after its launch.
MakeTheConnection.net has received more than 1 million visits, and its videos have been viewed more than 3 million times, the VA said late last year. To date, the campaign's Facebook page has more than a million “likes.”
A representative from Reingold declined to comment on the contract renewal.