‘Did You See Me Faint at the White House?’ Click!


Karmel Allison in the red dress, behind President Obama in the Rose Garden. (Image: KoreAm)

In what may be a first, a fainting spell in the White House's Rose Garden has become the basis of an email campaign, drawing attention to a nonprofit cause and a national campaign on behalf of a new federal law.

On Oct. 21, Karmel Allison, pregnant and diabetic, nearly fainted as she stood behind President Obama during a speech about the Affordable Care Act in the Rose Garden. Obama turned around and helped steady her, and the clip became instant news.

A day later, the American Diabetes Association sent out an email blast with the brilliant subject line, "Did you see me faint at the White House?"

In the email, Allison, a self-described "Diabetes Advocate," writes,"yes, that was me—fainting on stage, on national television, waking up to the President of the United States of America telling me I would be OK. As embarrassed as I was, fainting led my story—but more importantly the story of all people fighting to Stop Diabetes—to catch everyone’s attention. I spent yesterday afternoon talking to media around the country, allowing me to spread the message of just how important the new healthcare act is to people with diabetes."

As Jennifer McGrath, corporate relations manager for the Allstate Foundation, said in a PR News webinar yesterday about social good communications, "It's the personal stories that resonate best—stories with an individual human face."

The American Diabetes Association would appear to agree with McGrath, as it took this high-profile—and quietly dramatic—story about Karmel Allison and instantly turned it into an effective, must-click email campaign that drew attention to both the Affordable Care Act's benefits, and the Stop Diabetes movement itself.



Comments Off


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.

Deals of the Week

$150 Off PR News' Social Media Summit

socialmedia201602-180x150Join PR News in Huntington Beach, CA on Feb. 26 for the Social Media Summit, where you'll be immersed in real-world, tactical case studies from brands, nonprofits and agencies and get takeaways in pulling and analyzing social media data; emerging social platforms and apps and so much more. 

Use code “150” at checkout to save $150 o the regular rate.

$50 off the CSR & Green PR Guidebook

csr_vol7_print_digital-thumbPR News’ CSR & Green PR Guidebook, Vol. 7 captures best practices in communicating the positive relationships that organizations are building with their communities of interest. This six-chapter guidebook connects the dots between the effective communication of positive social contributions and corresponding improvements in bottom lines.

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription



Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.