2010 Digital PR Awards: Blog

Winner: Kaiser Permanente – Dispatches From Haiti

Following the devastating earthquake that ravaged Haiti in early 2010, a group of physicians from Kaiser Permanente traveled to the country to provide aid. As a way to track these efforts, Kaiser set up a blog that allowed caregivers to share their experiences in Haiti while demonstrating the skills, dedication and compassion of Kaiser Permanente’s physicians and nurses. After executive buy-in and the formation of a collaborative strategy, the blog launched six days after the earthquake; the first post received 51 comments. As the dispatches continued to stream in, the PR team monitored the blog at all hours to rapidly approve and post updates and comments. In addition, Twitter updates announced new information. In its first 12 days, the blog received more than 37,000 page views and it gained mention in regional and national publications and blogs.

Honorable Mentions:
Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Communications and Marketing, Randy Tinseth and Jim Condelles – Randy’s Journal:

People who want to know what goes on at Boeing Commercial Airplanes and in the aviation industry can get an inside look via "Randy's Journal," which offers direct, transparent communication—even in times of bad news. The blog started by marketing VP Randy Baseler has grown to incorporate other executive voices and often provides the most rapidly updated outlet for announcing breaking Boeing news. In its first month, January 2005, the blog logged 7,800 page views; by December 2009, it had steadily climbed to 228,000 page views per month.

Motorola Mobility – Motorola Media Experiences 2 Go Blog:
Throughout 2009 and into 2010, the MediaExperiences2Go blog has incorporated new strategies to make it more relevant to the public and more of a media tool. For instance, public relations pitches often include links to relevant material in the blog, and the blog URL has been added to the quarterly email sent out to industry analysts. New content to attract a greater audience like Q&As with Motorola executives, podcasts and video have boosted traffic, which now averages upwards of 11,000 unique views per month. 

The National Institute on Drug Abuse – The Sara Bellum Blog:
The first tactic in launching the first Federal Government agency blog for teens was the blog's title—"Sara Bellum," a fictional NIDA adventurer and also a clever play on the part of the brain. The blog has succeeded in hitting its target audience with relevant content like a "Real Teens Ask" Q&A section and a "Real Life" category that highlights contemporary issues from mainstream headlines. Within the first two weeks of its debut in July 2009, the Sara Bellum Blog received more than 50,000 page views.

O’Malley Hansen Communications – Expedition Hanesbrands: Taking Expedition Blogging to New Heights:
In September 2009, Hanesbrands launched climbwithus.com, which ties the message of Hanesbrands' outdoor apparel with authentic commentary and analysis from outdoor experts. An Expedition Updates section allows for written blogs and updates from professional writers within the outdoor community, international mountaineers, communications experts and Sherpa guides, among others. Since its inception, the site has garnered over 13,349 total visitors.

USANA Health Sciences - What’s Up, USANA
What's Up, USANA has attracted a new generation of followers interested in USANA's science brand with daily new content, which covers a mixture of USANA business-related information and pop culture items tied to USANA's network of reality show stars, world-class athletes and other notable figures. A variety of contests and incentives, like a recent viral sticker campaign, have brought more visitors. In its first 18 months, What's Up, USANA received 175,000 visits and nearly 275,000 page views.

Weber Shandwick Minneapolis - Army Strong Stories:
Conceptualized in 2008, Army Strong Stories (www.ArmyStrongStories.com) is the first-ever U.S. Army blog, designed to provide service members with a digital platform to share experiences while helping to create a better understanding what it's like to actually be in the Army. In May 2009, the blog added social media functions, such as the ability to sign up to blog directly on the site and share through other social media outlets, leading to a 40% traffic increase from 2008.