Best Article

Great storytelling lies at the heart of a compelling tale of hope and survival

Reporters didn’t settle for cheap sentiment with award winner ‘They Told Me To Let Him Go.’

They told me to ‘let him go' - Logo -

Spectrum Health’s publication Health Beat is home to a steady flow of great writing, but the article “They Told Me to Let Him Go” rises above its usual excellent standards—so compelling that it’s won first place in the “Best Article” category of Ragan’s 2016 Nonprofit PR Awards. 

The tale of Scott and Danielle Hawkins could easily have headed down the road of cheap sentimentalism after Scott suffered a burst aneurysm. Instead, the Health Beat reporting team produced an in-depth article that delivers a real sense of who these people are and how they are affected by their journey when Danielle has Scott taken to the medical facility after learning about Spectrum’s capabilities—an aspect of the article that reinforces Spectrum’s reputation. Photos and video enhance the piece and make it even more personal and effective; the assets are woven together strategically, not just jammed onto a page. 

The professionalism underlying the emotional storytelling earned the article third place among all the content of Health Beat last year and won an impressive 8,589 page views. Nearly 1,400 people shared the article directly from the site, leading to a reach of nearly 42,000 people on Facebook. 

And people didn’t just give the article a once-over. They stayed, read and watched, spending an average of six minutes on the story. Portions of the story were shared on blogs and other media sites and the video was viewed nearly 40,000 times, a record for Spectrum.

Congratulations on a superb article to contributing staff members Marie Havenga, Chris Clark, Jill Overacker and Jill Seidelman.


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