2013 Platinum PR Awards: Satellite Media Tours

Winner: American Red Cross - Twister Coming? There's an App for That: The American Red Cross Launches Tornado App with National Satellite Media Tour

Tornadoes strike rapidly and without warning. As such, there's less time to prepare than in the case of other natural disasters, like a hurricane. The American Cross wanted to increase at-risk populations' awareness of emergency preparedness and serve up life-saving weather alerts, and devised that the best way to reach this audience was on a device that people rarely leave home without: Their phones.

After developing the app, the American Red Cross team came up with a unique blend of social engagement, national media pitching and a satellite media tour (SMT) to effectively spread the word.

The SMT hit the airwaves on national and local television and radio, while garnering a high volume online coverage, as well. The team took on 38 SMT bookings with many stations running the segment more than once throughout the day and airing the segment in the days following. In total, the SMT aired on 89 of the top 100 markets. Bookings and taped interviews drove airings in dozens of additional markets nationwide. The overall launch garnered more than 20 million media impressions and 435 individual story placements from the March 4 launch date through April 1. Major hits included national outlets such as The Weather Channel, NBC Newschannel (English and Spanish), Fox News Edge and CNN Espanol. Most importantly, March saw 187,000 total tornado app downloads. Mission accomplished.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Hilton HHonors Program - Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Credit Card Launch
  • IHG - Travel Bonus with Tabatha Coffey
  • Marina Maher Communications- Merck & Resolve Remind Couples that a Conversation with a Specialist Could be the Start of Something Small
  • Marina Maher Communications - Merck for Mothers Encourages Women to Get Informed about Maternal Mortality

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About Lucia Davis

Lucia Davis is community editor for PR News. Prior to returning to NYC, she was associate editor at iMedia Connection in Culver City, CA. In addition to PR News and iMedia, Lucia's writing has appeared in minonline, "The Minetta Review," "EQUITIES Magazine," and "The Foothills Paper."

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