2011 Platinum PR Awards: Social Media Campaign

Winner: U.S. Army with Weber Shandwick – Sharing the Army Strong Story

Given the meteoric rise of social media, the U.S. Army, with the help of Weber Shandwick, focused on increasing its social media engagement with potential recruits for Army Strong Stories, the official soldier blog. Tactics included launching “Inspire Stories,” a program that invited influential bloggers to Army events; integrating the site with both Facebook and Twitter; and launching the Army Strong Stories iPhone app. The campaign exceeded expectations as the initiatives generated more than 1 million visits in 2010, a 250+% increase over 2009. And best of all: the Army exceeded its recruitment goal for 2010. —SP

Fast Fact: The Army Strong Stories iPhone app achieved almost 1,000 downloads and the eight "Inspire Stories" blogger engagements reached more than 10 million people.

Honorable Mentions:

Berman & Company – Teachers Union Exposed: During Wyoming’s efforts to reform teacher tenure and pay structure, the Center for Union Facts Facebook fan page reached 47% of Wyoming residents who are on Facebook.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse: CDC developed a guideline to prepare for a zombie apocalypse and paired it with health preparedness information. The campaign resulted in "CDC" and "Zombie Apocalypse" trending worldwide on Twitter.

Chamberlain Healthcare Public Relations for Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. – Health Seeker: Simple Steps, Healthier Together: HealthSeeker, a Facebook game that combines the supportive social networking environment with mission-based gameplay, has around 7,300 players and has garnered over 78 original news stories and 275 million media impressions.

M Booth – Ameda “I Breastfeed Because” Campaign: Bethenny Frankel promoted Ameda’s campaign, which generated 34 million media impressions and 257 Twitter posts. Furthermore, its microsite had 3,400+ likes on Facebook, which also was responsible for driving 50% of all its traffic.

U.S. Census Bureau – 2010 Census Using Social Media for 2010 Census Awareness: To quell the distrust and fears of groups that traditionally under-report, the U.S. Census Bureau developed a multi-platform social media campaign to respond to criticism and misinformation. The Facebook fan page amassed 110,000+ fans while YouTube videos gathered 195,000+ views.

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