Best Traditional News Release

MilkPEP wows with grade-A research

A four-page press release from the nation’s milk processors is chock full of information about changes to flavored milk. It even has endnotes.

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When you’re writing about kids and schools, it pays to do your homework.

So when the Milk Processor Education Program, the board that runs the “got milk?” campaign sponsored by United States milk processors, partnered with Weber Shandwick to issue a press release in August 2011 regarding calorie and sugar reductions to flavored milk, they loaded it with research data to back up the claims. The release is so thorough and detailed that it earned the top spot among nominees for the 2012 PR Daily Award for Best Traditional News Release.

Five endnotes at the end of the release show all the work that went into writing the text: Two of them point to articles regarding milk’s place in children’s diets, while the rest direct readers to original MilkPEP research. The program interviewed 1,000 moms to measure their attitudes toward flavored milk in schools and surveyed schools to discover the effects of removing flavored milk from the lunch line.

Even with all that data in there, the release doesn’t read like something dry and academic. It includes interviews with a number of doctors and nutritionists and frames the debate over flavored milk in an interesting way. It’s almost like a magazine article.

As a result, it got tons of attention. More than 1,500 people posted on social media about the release, and it led to 291 online and print articles, garnered 74 broadcast stories in 44 states, and resulted in 42 million media impressions. It effected change, too. Santa Monica-Malibu Schools in California voted to keep chocolate milk on the menu as a result of the research.

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