2012 Platinum PR Awards: Web Site Marketing

Winner: Home Front Communications - Freight Rail Works

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) was looking to create an online destination where users could come and learn about the freight rail system. But not just any user, an entry point was needed to attract the right people, which included thought leaders, policy makers and industry affiliates. 

The message that the AAR, in partnership with Home Front Communications, wanted to convey was the direct and indirect impacts of freight rail on the American economy. Those thoughts led to the creation of freightrailworks.org, which was able to engage users through a visual learning experience. Graphs and interactive maps provided the visual experience AAR was looking for to give readers a better understanding of freight rail. Focus group research conducted in July of 2011 found that the Flash-based site engaged the audience, providing viewers with easily digestible, credible content. —JH

Honorable Mentions:


Accenture – Accenture Corporate Web Site Redesign: Setting a goal of making its Web site easier to navigate, Accenture’s redesign focused on fixing its inconsistent presentation. The new look offered a core information package and an easier navigation approach. Results were almost immediate, and content pages have had 2.5 million views.

The Ayn Rand Institute – Atlas Shrugged Video Contest: You can never go wrong with video, and ARI thought it’d be the perfect platform for its audience to tell their stories of Atlas Shrugged. A microsite was created and users uploaded 114 videos which garnered 200,000 views.

Bell Helicopter – Bell 525 Relentless Product Launch: To promote the launch of the 525 Relentess, Bell wanted to created intrigue and anticipation about the product. Prior to the launch, social media was involved, with an “R” icon used to represent the product. A microsite was used to tease the copter and media was corralled to generate buzz.

Feinstein Kean Healthcare – Partnering for Positive Action…Sharing Stories from the Frontlines of the ViiV Healthcare Effect: First-person stories are effective when it comes to matters of health. ViiV took an interactive, multimedia  approach to showcase its brand. Through interviews with employees and partners, visitors to the site received a personal look at the people and facilities that make up ViiV.

Moet Hennessy, Hennessy Brand – KAWS x Hennessy Press Release with QR code: A special QR code was created using graphics from KAWS to promote Moet Hennessy, marking the first time a spirits brand ever used a QR code on a press release. The plan resulted in 300,000 press release views during the first week. 

Ogilvy PR – IRS Free File: The “Less Taxing” Way to Prepare and e-File Federal Taxes: Creating an easier way to file taxes benefits everyone. Working on behalf of the IRS, Ogilvy set a goal of 80% of tax returns being filed electronically, through the File Free program. A microsite was launched to create an entry pint to the free offerings.  Basic instructional sections were included to make the process easier. 

Waggener Edstrom Worldwide – Sasquatch Music Festival: It was all about the music prior to the Sasquatch Music Festival. A redesign enabled users to customize the site to hear their preferred artists. The redesign helped lead to a sold-out event during the first week of  the site’s launch.


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