TAKING A CAMPAIGN FROM BIG TO BIGGER WITH A FRIENDLY RIVALRY, A SUSTAINABLE HOOK AND A THIRD-PARTY SUPPORTER


The story of Aflac’s Boston district manager Steve Karas donating bone marrow to save a young boy’s life is poignant in and of itself, but company’s PR team needed to elevate it to a larger media stage if they wanted its impact to reach a broad national audience. “Just one story angle was insufficient,” says Paul Dusseault, senior vice president and partner at Fleishman-Hillard, and client relationship manager for the Aflac account. “The story [lacked] the punch to be of interest to the national media.” In order to pack the necessary punch, then, the Aflac-Fleishman team decided on the following to strategies, all of which can be translated into best practices for any communications professional looking to raise awareness: • Spark a friendly rivalry: “To tie into the end of the baseball season, the PR team recommended the angle of sports team rivalries, what with the Red Sox fan’s bone marrow saving a Yankee fan [the bone marrow recipient, Matthew Welling, who lived near New York City],” Dusseault says. “That worked for the New York Times.

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