Raising the PR Bar

Most every day we read about some PR effort to squelch a big-brand crisis; or communications work on Capitol Hill to get a bill passed; or a cause campaign among the public to help save some endangered species. All noble PR efforts in their own ways, for sure. But I may have found a campaign that takes that nobility a step further, at least. It’s GLOBALHealthPR and Spectrum‘s “Find the other 150” campaign, executed pro bono on behalf of the Progeria Research Foundation (PRF). Progeria is the rare, devastating disease that causes children to age prematurely and experience deadly heart disease. In 2009, it was known to affect 54 children in 30 different countries, while an estimated 140 children were yet to be identified and diagnosed.

“Find the other 150” is a culmination of work that Spectrum, which specializes in health care communications, has done with PRF for some 10 years, all of it gratis. The goal for this effort was to find as many undiagnosed kids with Progeria as possible. You can read about the details in the upcoming PR News case study in the 11/7/2011 issue. The short story is this: Since the digital and media relations campaign was launched in Oct. 2009, 24 more kids have been identified with Progeria. That might seem like an insignificant number to some. But to the kids and their families, 24 more meant it was possible to conduct clinical trials of a drug that might stem the tide of the disease. Those results, says Audrey Gordon, president and co-founder of PRF, will be revealed soon. To Gordon, Spectrum and its GLOBAlHealthPR partners are top-notch, and “treat us like an A-list client.” Stories like this make me feel good about PR.

–Scott Van Camp

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