2013 Platinum PR Awards: PR on a Shoestring

Co-Winner: NAMI - You Are Not Alone

On Oct. 1, 2012, with a budget of zero dollars the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) launched its "You Are Not Alone in this Fight" (YANA) year-end campaign, an online video and text story-sharing hub on NAMI.org where individuals and families affected by mental illness were encouraged to share stories of hope, recovery and resiliency.

In addition, NAMI promoted messages of hope and inspiration and gave the online community multiple ways to support the cause±along with storytelling, commenting and sharing, and donating to NAMI. Story-sharing was the center piece of the YANA campaign, which used Web and social media strategies to drive conversions, defined as engagements (posts, shares, likes, comments) as well as donations through direct e-mail marketing asks as well as through nami.org and social media portals.

The NAMI team solicited videos from a few key celebrities and mental health advocates; created a "splash" landing page and submission process; promoted the campaign via homepage banners, digital ads, AdWords (in-kind) campaign, Facebook and Twitter images and badges as well as in-kind print ads. They also redesigned the homepage weekly in the YANA theme, highlighting a great person from history who lived with mental illness while running a corresponding biopic. The team also interacted proactively through NAMI's social media channels, encouraging, responding and promoting an interactive conversation on YANA themes

All in all, the YANA campaign surpassed expectations for all objectives and further energized NAMI's online and social media communities. The storytelling initiative was so successful that the team has transitioned this component into a regular website feature. The campaign was also able to increase NAMI's social media community engagement, including on Facebook, where it garnered 60,000 new likes in Q4, an increase of 50%, and saw engagement increases (defined as likes+shares+comments) by 572%.

Co-Winner: RF|Binder Partners - Band Aid Brand transforming Healing Moments into Moments of Virtual Fun

For nearly 100 years, parents have relied on the iconic Band Aid Brand to help heal their kids' cuts and scrapes, which has ingratiated the brand into those special, soothing and nurturing moments. To maintain that ongoing emotional connection with parents and kids, in 2012, Band Aid launched the Band Aid Brand Magic Vision App—on a budget of just $50,000— featuring Disney's The Muppets. This mobile application provides parents with an unprecedented ability to entertain their kids during the traumatic moment of getting hurt in a way like never before.

Leveraging innovative augmented reality technology, the app engages kids in a magical experience where they can scan any Band Aid Brand Adhesive Bandages strip or box, featuring Disney's The Muppets, to be transported through a magical portal into three distinct adventures and performances with Muppets characters.

In terms of tactics, RF|Binder worked to secure an exclusive story in a top tier newspaper, targeting key marketing media contacts. After much persistence, The New York Times ran a feature story on Band Aid that kicked off the launch. The day the article hit in The New York Times, the team built upon the momentum by distributing a multimedia press release and conducting aggressive media outreach to over 500 targeted contacts from a range of parenting, entertainment, lifestyle, marketing and technology outlets. RF|Binder also collaborated with the Mom Central blogger network to further amplify the campaign buzz among the key target audience and secured influential mom bloggers to post reviews of the app and detail their brand experience to readers.

Overall, RF|Binder's multi-pronged campaign strategy drove tremendous awareness for the app and garnered media coverage that excited parents about the new way to bring fun to the healing process. PR efforts generated over 35 stories in two days, including immense social media pick-up from The New York Times exclusive. To date, the campaign has garnered a total of 192.4 million impressions.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Alliance Agency - Red Carpet Manicure Becomes Top At-Home Gel Manicure System
  • AMD Radeon HD 7990 eBay Publicity Stunt
  • GiveMN.org - Putting the Max Back into Giving Day
  • PadillaCRT - Viviscal: Bringing Awareness to Women's Hair Thinning & Hair Loss
  • Osborn Barr – 2012 Monsanto America's Farmers Mom of the Year Program
  • VerticalResponse Launches Search for America’s Next Teen Tycoon
  • Weber Shandwick - Taking a Tech Detox: Nat’l Day of Unplugging