Raising Awareness for Breast Cancer

The winners and honorable mentions in this year's PR news Platinum PR awards issue exemplify the most innovative approaches to redefining traditional PR with anything-but- traditional strategies. From a marketing communications effort that united a country over the search for the stars of a 1950s TV commercial to an event that landed a flock of pink flamingos around the windy city, the following winner confirms that the PR profession has indeed stepped out from the shadows to take a front-and-center role in delivering business results to their own organizations, and to their clients. Below is the winner of the 2008 PR News Platinum PR award for satellite media tour.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure & Weber Shandwick

The State of Breast Cancer SMT/RMT

To advance public understanding of the urgency of getting screened for breast cancer and seeking treatment, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Weber Shandwick teamed up to develop a public service campaign that centered on a report entitled the State of Breast Cancer. The report was written for readers who have an interest in learning about the disease, and enhancing its visibility hinged on a combined satellite media tour and radio media tour (SMT/RMT).

Dr. Eric Winer, Komen's chief scientific advisor, was enlisted as one of the key spokespersons to lend his medical expertise to the tour; Nikia Hammonds-Blakely, 15-year-old breast cancer survivor and member of Komen's Young Women's Advisory Council, added a human-interest element. Also, because Hammonds-Blakely is African American, she could authentically engage that sector of the population, which is highly affected by breast cancer.

Deploying Tactics

To ensure a successful SMT/RMT, Weber Shandwick disseminated a media alert that focused on Komen's The State of Breast Cancer Report. The agency also developed talking points about Dr. Winer's scientific background and Hammonds-Blakely's personal experience.

All told, a four-hour SMT/RMT with Dr. Winer and Hammonds-Blakely yielded a total of 33 media interviews, including coverage in Boston, Orlando and Denver. More than 1.7 million TV viewers and more than 2.2 million radio listeners were reached, totaling more than 9.5 million media impressions. �