A highly personal article about domestic violence is bound to attract readers. The ambitions for this particular article went far beyond provoking a reaction in its audience. “Domestic violence’s painful legacy,” by Sally Crocker, passed the test, earning first place in the “Article” category of Ragan’s Health Care PR and Marketing Awards.
The article tells the tale of Dr. Emily Spence-Almaguer, a researcher from the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC), who learned that the sister of her future husband had been murdered in an act of domestic violence. The article covers both the trauma the family has suffered and the work Dr. Spence-Almaguer undertook, inspired by joining a family that had been through the experience.
In addition to telling the tale of Dr. Spence-Almaguer and her connection to domestic violence, and positioning all UNTHSC public health researchers as leaders in tackling critical public health problems, the communication team wanted to build support for the institution’s work in research and advocacy about a variety of community health issues. The article would show in an intimate way how UNTHSC researchers are working to address domestic violence while also shining a light on the work of the Public Health school.
Crocker conducted multiple interviews, including one conducted via instant messaging and email with a retired deputy district attorney who was involved with the family. It took five weeks to conduct interviews and perform background work, crank out rough drafts and produce a finished article.
The article was distributed in UNTHSC’s Solutions magazine, which is bundled with a local monthly lifestyles publication that is mailed to 58,000 households in select Tarrant County ZIP codes. It was also sent to 5,000 alumni and friends of the university. The online version also earned a healthy number of views and was shared via social media.
Congratulations to Sally Crocker and editor Kerry Gunnels.