Digital PR Awards: Email Newsletters

Winner: Columbia University School of Nursing - @ColumbiaNursing e-Newsletter

Columbia University School of Nursing’s e-Newsletter @ColumbiaNursing debuted in March 2013, and since then, alumni-giving has increased substantially. In fact, cumulative 12-month donations more than doubled from $1.4 million to $3.2 million in @ColumbiaNursing’s first year of publication. Additionally, alumni reunion attendance increased by 30 percent from the previous year.

Internal surveys show a high level of awareness of, anticipation for, and enjoyment of each issue of @ColumbiaNursing among faculty, staff, and alumni. In 2012 Columbia Nursing began working on this first in-house communications operation by hiring Marc Kaplan (formerly director of communications at Penn Medicine) as associate dean for marketing and strategic communications. Previously, the school relied on consultants to provide communications services on a case-by-case basis.

Working with the dean and other members of the senior leadership team, and informed by a school-wide communications retreat for staff and faculty, Kaplan developed a comprehensive communications strategy to meet a series of goals. The mission was to connect the school to the broader nursing community on several fronts and the strategy included raising the profile of the school and its leadership within the national and international nursing world; strengthening the sense of internal community by providing faculty and staff members with a common knowledge base; more fully engaging the school’s alumni in the school’s activities; broadening the donor base, and helping to shape public policy in support of the nursing profession.

Honorable Mentions:

•             Coyne Public Relations - Launching the Inaugural Humana Communities Benefit eNewsletter

•             Otter Products - OtterBox Public Relations Email Newsletter 2014