2012 Platinum PR Awards: Marketing Communications

Winner: AICPA ThisWaytoCPA

How do you make a 124-year-old organization of certified public accountants sexy to college kids? You create a recruiting Web site that appeals to budding accountants and market the heck out of it—and that’s just what the AICPA did. Working with communications agency Capstrat, the AICPA created ThisWaytoCPA.com in 2010.

In 2011, AICPA looked to take the site to the next level, holding an accounting competition—
marketed through professors, via on-campus posters and e-mail and social media communications; through a book, The Future CPA’s Guide to Life and Awesomeness, a compilation of witty CPA tips; and an interactive Internship Readiness Quiz, among other components.

This resulted in more than 15,000 unique visitor per month to the site; 17,500 database sign-ups (goal was 15,000); and more than 216 teams participating in the accounting competition—the goal was 125. —SVC 

Honorable Mentions:

Adobe Systems – Adobe Launches Creative Cloud and Sparks a Corporate Brand Transformation: YouTube videos, social media chatter, multi-city media tours, virtual press conferences and a creativity scholarship program drove Adobe’s Create Now campaign to half a million downloads of the beta product in less than a week.

Baptist Health South Florida – South Florida Meets the New West Kendall Baptist Hospital: A new site, social media, media tours and a grand opening gala event successfully introduced the new hospital to the community. The key objective—daily ER visits of at least 92 patients—was achieved on day six, and by Q4 2011, more than 120 ER patients per day were being treated.

Downy with DeVries Public Relations – Downy Puts Mike in the Window for Clean Sheet Week: “Mike in the Window” elevated a fabric softener product upgrade to a social media-driven week of entertainment and brand buzz, resulting in a 14% jump in sales volume right after the campaign ended.

Exponent PR –
Novartis Uncovers the Dirty Truth about Fleas: ”DirtyTruth” webisodes starring Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel, helped anchor the 2011 campaign to increase the share of Novartis’Sentinel FlavorTab product, resulting in a market share increase from 8.1% in May to 9.2% in late 2011.

InterContinental Hotels Group – IHG’s Check It Free Promotion:
Two satellite media tours with well-known travel gurus and pitches to top-tier travel publications and national broadcast outlets helped spread the word that IHG would pay airline bag fees for its guests. The campaign resulted in 659 million media impressions.

The Reading Hospital and Medical Center – HeartSAFE Berks County: A dedicated Web site, CPR classes, billboards, a HeartSAFE night at the Reading Phillies minor league game and more were deployed to improve the survivability of sudden cardiac arrest victims within Berks County, resulting in more than 160,000 people educated about cardiac arrest.

School of Journalism and Mass Communications, University Of South Carolina – The Great Wiener War of 2011, Lulu’s Hot Dogs: Let’s be frank—generating awareness of a start-up hot dog stand whose competition is a well-established local brand and a national chain (Sonic) wouldn’t be easy. Yet a hot dog eating contest and Facebook and Twitter efforts increased awareness by 50%, traffic to Lulu’s by 34% and monthly sales by an average of 32%. 

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