2013 Digital PR Awards: Public Affairs Campaign


Winner: Airlines for America - Don't Ground America

On April 16, 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration advised Airlines for America (A4A) and airline carriers that furloughs of air traffic controllers would begin the following Sunday. A4A responded immediately and filed legal action to halt the furloughs, alerted Congress and media to the impending crisis and garnered a coalition of unified support from various airlines associations. A4A also worked with member airlines to engage customers and interested parties as key participants of the campaign.

Highly competitive companies worked toward a common goal, promoting the campaign website as a platform to demand that Congress and the Administration find a solution. A4A scheduled a National Press Club press conference and issued statements to multiple outlets resulting in extensive coverage. The campaign microsite incorporated an innovative and unique tool that allowed the public to send letters directly to Congress and the Administration, urging them to pass legislation for a solution.

In less than 10 days, A4A led a grassroots campaign, generating media awareness and significant public outrage and opposition to the furloughs, which ultimately resulted in congressional action to resolve the issue with legislation. Overall earned media from April 18 to 26 resulted in nearly 100 major broadcast segments and 3,000 print media stories with a total value of nearly $4 million.

Honorable Mentions:

  • APCO Worldwide - Business Roundtable: The Home Court Advantage Campaign
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan - "Make the Play" for a Healthier Future: Encouraging Healthy Habits in Michigan
  • National Multi Housing Council and National Apartment Association - Apartments. We Live Here.
  • Stratacomm - MyWireless.org: America's Wireless Voice


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About Steve Goldstein

Steve Goldstein is editorial director for Access Intelligence’s PR News brand, which encompasses premium, how-to content, data and competitive intelligence for public relations professionals; PR News Online; PR News conferences, webinars and awards programs; and PR News guidebooks. Previously at AI Steve was editorial director of min, min ’s b2b and minonline as well as managing editor of CableFAX: The Magazine and CableWorld. Before joining Access Intelligence, he was executive editor of World Screen News, and editor of Film/Tape World, which covered film, television and commercial production in the San Francisco Bay Area.



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