John

Best Media Relations Campaign

Children’s Hospital of Richmond found itself needing to remind the community of its capabilities and its record as a community advocacy group formed to lobby for construction of a new children’s hospital, so they reached out to their agency, PadillaCRT. The hospital’s overall campaign employed a variety of channels, from a hashtag campaign to a video that drew more than 100,000 views. The campaign also excelled in its media relations endeavors, earning it the prize for Best Media Relations Campaign in PR Daily’s 2014 Nonprofit PR Awards.

The Christmas-themed effort drew media attention, and a coordinated outreach effort ensured the press was aware of it. Given that Richmond is not a top-tier media market, expectations that the campaign would be covered in 10 local media outlets were reasonable, if not ambitious. But the story was reported in 58 outlets, and the video was featured by some A-list media organizations, including The Huffington Post, Parents.com, and “Access Hollywood.” Another sports-related component of the campaign attracted coverage from an entirely different spectrum of the media, amplifying the message to a broader audience.

We have a pat on the back for Chhayal Mehta, Shira Pollard, Rachael Seda, April Sciacchitano, Kelsey Mohrning, and Liz Rea.

Want to get recognized for your hard work? Find out about Ragan and PR Daily’s award programs here: http://www.ragan.com/Awards/RaganAwardsPrograms.aspx.

John

Best Marketing Campaign

Communicators for San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum must have felt particularly challenged to draw crowds for the 10th anniversary of the museum’s move to the Civic Center. The anniversary exhibit, China’s terracotta warriors, was making its second stop at the museum. With a “been there, done that” kind of exhibit, the museum turned to marketing to drum up excitement by employing an “alternate reality” game—a lost terracotta warrior needs to be found.

In a well-integrated campaign that wove together the best-practices uses of traditional and social media, the AAM team was able to blow away its objectives, drawing 238,000 visitors—88,000 more than planned—and setting a weekend attendance record. The Asian Art Museum also scored a win in the Best Marketing Campaign category of PR Daily’s 2014 Nonprofit PR Awards.

Our sincere congratulations to the team of Ami Tseng, Jennifer Yin, Janet Brunckhorst, David Owens-Hill, Tim Hallman, Amelia Bunch, and Dori Sera Bailey.

Want to get recognized for your hard work? Find out about Ragan and PR Daily’s award programs here: http://www.ragan.com/Awards/RaganAwardsPrograms.aspx.

John

Best Event PR

It was great publicity for the city of Denver and the local Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver to be chosen as one of only three cities participating in the 30th anniversary of the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project with the construction of 11 new townhomes along with badly needed repairs to 15 homes.

GroundFloor Media
—working with Habitat’s communications team—scheduled activities and events and coordinated publicity through multiple channels in order to meet specific objectives. This entry earned top honors in the Best Event PR category of PR Daily’s 2014 Nonprofit PR Awards because those objectives included basic organizational goals beyond clicks and impressions; the PR plan was designed not only to attract eyeballs, but to motivate cash donations and inspire some to donate their time and energy.

From including the Denver Broncos and Nuggets sports franchises to conducting media tours, the events maintained a focus that built awareness in the community resulting in more than $3 million in donations and participation in the event by 3,500 individuals. In terms of pure PR outputs, the impressions in both traditional and social media were impressive, especially given the paltry budget allocated to the effort.

We raise our virtual cup to GroundFloor Media’s Wendy Artman, Amanda Brannum, Kimmie Greene, and Carissa McCabe, and to Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver’s Robyn Burns and Heather Lafferty.

Want to get recognized for your hard work? Find out about Ragan and PR Daily’s award programs here: http://www.ragan.com/Awards/RaganAwardsPrograms.aspx.

John

Best Marketing Campaign

Communicators for San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum must have felt particularly challenged to draw crowds for the 10th anniversary of the museum’s move to the Civic Center. The anniversary exhibit, China’s terracotta warriors, was making its second stop at the museum. With a “been there, done that” kind of exhibit, the museum turned to marketing to drum up excitement by employing an “alternate reality” game—a lost terracotta warrior needs to be found.

In a well-integrated campaign that wove together the best-practices uses of traditional and social media, the AAM team was able to blow away its objectives, drawing 238,000 visitors—88,000 more than planned—and setting a weekend attendance record. The Asian Art Museum also scored a win in the Best Marketing Campaign category of PR Daily’s 2014 Nonprofit PR Awards.

Our sincere congratulations to the team of Ami Tseng, Jennifer Yin, Janet Brunckhorst, David Owens-Hill, Tim Hallman, Amelia Bunch, and Dori Sera Bailey.

Want to get recognized for your hard work? Find out about Ragan and PR Daily’s award programs here: http://www.ragan.com/Awards/RaganAwardsPrograms.aspx.

John

Best Event PR

It was great publicity for the city of Denver and the local Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver to be chosen as one of only three cities participating in the 30th anniversary of the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project with the construction of 11 new townhomes along with badly needed repairs to 15 homes.

GroundFloor Media
—working with Habitat’s communications team—scheduled activities and events and coordinated publicity through multiple channels in order to meet specific objectives. This entry earned top honors in the Best Event PR category of PR Daily’s 2014 Nonprofit PR Awards because those objectives included basic organizational goals beyond clicks and impressions; the PR plan was designed not only to attract eyeballs, but to motivate cash donations and inspire some to donate their time and energy.

From including the Denver Broncos and Nuggets sports franchises to conducting media tours, the events maintained a focus that built awareness in the community resulting in more than $3 million in donations and participation in the event by 3,500 individuals. In terms of pure PR outputs, the impressions in both traditional and social media were impressive, especially given the paltry budget allocated to the effort.

We raise our virtual cup to GroundFloor Media’s Wendy Artman, Amanda Brannum, Kimmie Greene, and Carissa McCabe, and to Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver’s Robyn Burns and Heather Lafferty.

Want to get recognized for your hard work? Find out about Ragan and PR Daily’s award programs here: http://www.ragan.com/Awards/RaganAwardsPrograms.aspx.

John

Best Crisis Managment

World Vision, a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization, is no stranger to crises. Its mission is to help children, families, and communities “tackle the causes of poverty and injustice.”

So when Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, World Vision knew exactly how to organize an effective and immediate humanitarian response.

Due to World Vision’s swift, comprehensive, and effective work communicating the needs of those affected by the typhoon, the organization earned first place in the Best Crisis Management category of PR Daily’s 2014 Nonprofit PR Awards.

When a crisis such as Typhoon Haiyan occurs, World Vision must work quickly not only to ensure victims receive aid, but to ensure donors, sponsors, and government agencies see World Vision’s work. This is the only way the organization can continue to receive funding.

The nonprofit’s goals during Typhoon Haiyan were straightforward: Ensure World Vision was listed in 75 percent of How-to-Help boxes, get World Vision mentioned in the majority of U.S. media outlets, and position World Vision as a well-respected humanitarian organization. Here’s how the organization exceeded its goals:

  1. It planned ahead. World Vision’s media relations team preps for disasters long before they hit. It distributes a pitching toolbox to each team member, regularly trains its emergency staff on how to work with the media, and meets with media contacts throughout the year to reinforce World Vision as a source of breaking news during disasters.
  2. It anticipated the media’s needs. During a two-week span, World Vision sent eight press releases, gathered photos and video from people on the ground, and developed messaging that spokespeople could expertly relay in media interviews.
  3. It was a source of information for the media. World Vision pitched and scheduled live interviews with on-the-ground spokespeople, arranged for the media to visit the Philippines to witness World Vision’s relief distributions, and used social media to distribute human interest stories, photos, and video from staff in the Philippines.

World Vision’s work paid off. It received placement in 90 percent of How-to-Help boxes (more than any other nonprofit), landed almost 4,000 placements in U.S. media, and was mentioned in almost every major American news outlet. Additionally, World Vision raised more than $6 million in two weeks.

We congratulate the World Vision team members on their hard work: Johnny Cruz, Laura Blank, Amy Parodi, Holly Frew, and Larry Short.

Want to get recognized for your hard work? Find out about Ragan and PR Daily’s award programs here: http://www.ragan.com/Awards/RaganAwardsPrograms.aspx.

John

Best Website

Website accessibility is an underreported issue, but a significant one. As more and more news, information, and resources are accessible primarily through the Web, millions of people with disabilities find it impossible or, at best, difficult to avail themselves of this channel.

The problem extends even to organizations formed to aid the disabled, like Inglis, a 137-year-old institution founded to assist people with disabilities in the greater Philadelphia area. Focusing on two standards—the Rehabilitation Act of 1977 and the World Wide Web Consortium’s accessibility standards—Inglis opted to focus on the back end, making it easier for developers with disabilities to serve as site administrators while also ensuring front-end development of accessible content was easier.

The result is a website that looks great, serves the needs of all its stakeholders, and is accessible without showing the nuts and bolts that make it accessible. Increased visits, reduced bounce rates, and increased donations made through the site testify to the effectiveness of this substantial upgrade, which takes the prize for Best Website in PR Daily’s 2014 Nonprofit PR Awards.

We congratulate Gary Bramnick, Eliot Spindel, and King Design for their noteworthy efforts.

Want to get recognized for your hard work? Find out about Ragan and PR Daily’s award programs here: http://www.ragan.com/Awards/RaganAwardsPrograms.aspx.

John

Best Video

The video itself grabs and holds viewers. While conventional wisdom suggests keeping videos much shorter these days, the content and execution of the Phase One Foundation’s video supporting its 2014 fundraising campaign hook viewers early and keep them watching to the end.

But the deliberate and unapologetic tugging at viewers’ heartstrings is only part of the story. Knowing that people increasingly watch videos on smartphones, Phase One made it easy for people to make a donation in real time through their phones. To cap off a smart strategy, the foundation texted guests attending the video premiere with a link they could share with friends and family to amplify the video’s reach.

Huge kudos to the team behind the Best Video in PR Daily’s 2014 Nonprofit PR Awards: Leanna Creel, film and co-producer; Merritt Elliott, script and co-producer; Kevin Carlberg, Ross Grant, and Brian Carmody, music; and Tracy Hof, editor.

PHASE ONE 2014: EVERY ONE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE from Phase One on Vimeo.

Want to get recognized for your hard work? Find out about Ragan and PR Daily’s award programs here: http://www.ragan.com/Awards/RaganAwardsPrograms.aspx.

John

Best Use of Social Media

The importance of images in online and social communication is exploding. Popular experts like Guy Kawasaki insist that no post should be unaccompanied by a great image.

Recognizing that bloggers, journalists, advertisers, and others are seeking images to share with their teaching-focused content, the Carnegie Corporation of New York—which makes grants to education nonprofits—conceived a campaign to get members of 40 different organizations to shoot and share images to populate a photo library. Ultimately, the group made more than 700 outstanding royalty-free images available to reflect the idea of great, inspirational teachers. To make it even easier, the contribution of photos was managed through a Facebook app.

To make the entry even more compelling, the results aligned well with the goals, including increased engagement of the organization’s partners and considerable attention from the press and social media. In recognition of these remarkable feats, we award the Carnegie Corporation of New York top honors in the Best Use of Social Media category of PR Daily’s 2014 Nonprofit PR Awards.

We commend the members of the team behind this inspirational project: Karen Theroux, Deanna Lee, Michael Astolfi, Karoline Hassfurter, Piotr Kuczynski, Eleanor Lerman, Daniel Um, Ron Sexton, George Soule, Pat Pagnotta, and Adrienne Faraci.

Want to get recognized for your hard work? Find out about Ragan and PR Daily’s award programs here: http://www.ragan.com/Awards/RaganAwardsPrograms.aspx.

John

Best Report

Annual reports can be real snoozers, a dry accounting of funds received, those spent, and how they were allocated. But not this one. Perkins’ 2013 annual report movingly demonstrates the group’s commitment to building productive and meaningful lives for the nearly 1 million people it serves.

The report’s opening photograph shows a young blind girl reaching her hand high to touch continents on a raised-relief map of the world. The image drives home the point that people who are blind, deaf/blind, or visually impaired with other disabilities may still partake in a world of opportunities. Perkins is helping them do so via its five divisions: School for the Blind, International, Library, eLearning, and Products.

Current and potential donors are always on the lookout for a nonprofit’s tangible measures of success, and Perkins’ report delivers on that score, as well. The communications team scattered statistics in large type throughout the first half of the report to provide snapshots on, for example, the number of babies receiving early intervention services, the number of professionals receiving education through Perkins’ Training Center, and the number of library patrons using braille and audio books. The report also highlights the completion of Perkins’ first-ever capital campaign, a seven-year project that exceeded by $6 million its goal of raising $130 million.

Perkins takes home the prize for Best Report in PR Daily’s 2014 Nonprofit PR Awards because it not only provides the necessary financial information crucial to a nonprofit’s annual report but also shows the organization’s positive impact on people’s lives through the use of poignant photographs. Issued in braille, audio, electronic, and paper formats, the document serves as an outstanding marketing tool that encapsulates Perkins’ mission.

Kudos to Perkins Communications, whose members were responsible for the success of this report.

Want to get recognized for your hard work? Find out about Ragan and PR Daily’s award programs here: http://www.ragan.com/Awards/RaganAwardsPrograms.aspx.

John

Best Publication

New photos are a staple of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau Official Travel Guides, but recognizing that 30 percent of traffic to the bureau’s website comes from mobile devices—a figure that is only going to increase—led to the decision to illustrate the 2014 edition with smartphone-generated and edited images. Even the print version benefits from this approach, which provides the publication with a unique social media appearance even as it adheres to the highest standards of print production. Since 70 percent of those who request the printed book have a smartphone, the social media slant appeals even to those using the hard copy.

The online version offers a smart mix of digital technology and print sensibilities. The online version is also designed to be responsive, so it works just as well on a smartphone screen as on a larger desktop display.

The team responsible for this outstanding example of making something fresh from an age-old concept—the visitor’s guide—includes Aaron Tuell, Lee Nettles, Dana Grimstead, Lorrie Love, Allison Wyant, Matt Dubec, Amy Wood, Frances Bradshaw, Diane Bognich, Cheryl Hannant, Curt DeYoung, Robin Gard, Faye Lewis, Susan Draughon, Effie Jones, Terry Jones, and Jane Foster.

Congratulations on winning the prize for Best Publication in PR Daily’s 2014 Nonprofit PR Awards.

Want to get recognized for your hard work? Find out about Ragan and PR Daily’s award programs here: http://www.ragan.com/Awards/RaganAwardsPrograms.aspx.

John

Best Press Release

It seems downright evil for someone to use the good name of an adorable puppy for nefarious ends, but it happens, and people needed to be warned.

In stepped the Better Business Bureau of Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin to issue that much-needed warning. In March, the bureau issued a press release that not only alerted people to puppy scammers—people who pose as breeders and post advertisements online and in newspapers offering puppies, but not until people give up money and personal info—but also laid out a game plan for anyone planning to adopt a pet.

The release clearly points out what sorts of offers to avoid: “Often sellers will request a wire transfer or prepaid debit card for payment. These are red flags that should be avoided—or you may end up without your money and without a puppy.”

The release’s clear, thorough message makes it the winner of PR Daily’s 2014 Nonprofit PR Award for Best Press Release.

Staffers Lauren Thompson, Jarrod Wise, and Erin Dufner contributed to the release, and the bureau’s press department monitored how well it was received using Vocus tools and other resources. The release led to a better open rate than the average release, and led to quite a few media mentions.

Want to get recognized for your hard work? Find out about Ragan and PR Daily’s award programs here: http://www.ragan.com/Awards/RaganAwardsPrograms.aspx.

John

Best Blog

A girl living high in the Himalayas gets surgery to repair a hole in her heart. Rural teachers study map reading. Children attending an Afghan tent school become the first literate generation of their seminomadic community.

These are some of the stories featured in the blog of the Central Asia Institute. Along with a compelling design, they won the institute the gold in the Best Blog category of PR Daily’s 2014 Nonprofit PR Awards.

The institute is a nonprofit based in Bozeman, Mont., that says its mission is “to empower communities of Central Asia through literacy and education, especially for girls, promote peace through education, and convey the importance of these activities globally.”

CAI reports that it primarily works in isolated, mountainous regions of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, where there are major obstacles to education. Few organizations serve the areas, and the institute works collaboratively with local populations to ensure long-term sustainability and success.

The blog is a vivid reminder of just what a blog can do to promote the work of a nonprofit, not only in this remote but geostrategic region, but around the globe.

Want to get recognized for your hard work? Find out about Ragan and PR Daily’s award programs here: http://www.ragan.com/Awards/RaganAwardsPrograms.aspx.

John

Best Article

Hospitals are full of compelling stories, not all of them with happy endings. City of Hope, a California cancer treatment center, found both in the story of Bishop J. Jon Bruno, whose leukemia diagnosis and successful treatment was the subject of a profile in the hospital’s blog Breakthroughs in 2013. Combining faith, hope, and action, the story is a worthy winner of the Best Article category in PR Daily’s 2014 Nonprofit PR Awards.

The article, written by senior media relations specialist Roberta Nichols, starts with a bit of a spoiler, describing Bruno’s return home after his lifesaving treatment. But it’s nonetheless filled with drama, detailing the bishop’s previous careers in pro football and as an Episcopal priest. One moving anecdote recounts Bruno’s attempt to save the life of a 2-year-old car accident victim:

    “I started giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. I put my hand behind his head—and all I got was mush. He just would not breathe. I said, ‘Damn it, God, if you’re here, make this child breathe!’ And he started breathing.”

An unlikely prayer for a future bishop, perhaps, but it tells readers a lot about Bruno’s approach to life and faith.

The article exemplifies City of Hope’s mission of enabling patients to return to health, and to their families, careers, and passions. The story’s happy conclusion demonstrates that lifesaving results depend on superlative research and clinical expertise, but also on something less tangible: the commitment to treating the whole patient as a unique individual.

On average, a typical Breakthroughs post generates about 30 Facebook shares. Bishop Bruno’s story generated unprecedented engagement in the center’s social media audience, shared by more than 800 people through Facebook. It’s a testament to the work of Nichols and also Denise Heady, who edited the video of Bruno that Nichols filmed to accompany the article.

Read the article and see the video at http://breakthroughs.cityofhope.org/leukemia-bishop-jon-bruno/10157/.

Want to get recognized for your hard work? Find out about Ragan and PR Daily’s award programs here: http://www.ragan.com/Awards/RaganAwardsPrograms.aspx.

John

Best Membership/Recruiting Campaign

On average, 18 people in the U.S. die each day waiting for organ transplants.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) wanted to change that. To do so, it started the HRSA’s Workplace Partnership for Life (WPFL) to increase organ, eye, and tissue donation rates.

The WPFL’s communications contractor is a Pittsburgh-based agency, Akoya. To get the word out about the importance of organ donation, Akoya helped the HRSA launch annual campaigns for different market sectors. PR Daily’s 2014 Nonprofit PR Award for Best Membership/Recruiting Campaign goes to the WPFL Hospital Organ Donation Campaign.

According to the entry, Akoya developed communication materials (graphics, posters, news release templates, participation certificates, table tents, email templates, recruitment video) targeting the hospital sector. Then, the HRSA challenged hospitals to use those materials to talk with their staff members, patients, and visitors about the importance of donating.

To get hospitals excited about the campaign, Akoya developed the “Challenge Scorecard,” which listed how hospitals could earn points to count toward gold, silver, or bronze recognition when the campaign was over.

Of the 1,003 hospitals and transplant centers that participated, 323 earned gold, silver, or bronze recognition through the challenge. Because enthusiasm for the campaign was so great, the HRSA plans to do another challenge.

But what’s the best news? Outreach and registration activities of the hospitals directly involved resulted in 199,947 new donors added to state registries in the U.S.

Want to get recognized for your hard work? Find out about Ragan and PR Daily’s award programs here: http://www.ragan.com/Awards/RaganAwardsPrograms.aspx.