Best Use of Public Relations

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The Marcus Group and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
CHOP's Fight to Reclaim Horizon Contract

In September 2008, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield announced it would drop The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) from its network in March 2009.

Horizon insures 42% of New Jersey residents, and excluding CHOP would impact a large patient population and pose a significant business loss for the hospital. On a $90,000 budget, CHOP and The Marcus Group executed an aggressive campaign that rallied public opinion in the hospital's favor and resulted in a new contract with Horizon.

Judges were impressed by the results it achieved.

The team targeted patients, the medical community, employees, New Jersey lawmakers, unions, large employers and the general public directly and through media coverage. Local print and radio ads followed. A letters-to-the-editor campaign helped further delineate what Horizon's actions would mean to families. Horizon, which was in the process of converting from a nonprofit to a for-profit company, publicly argued that CHOP was expensive and contributing to rising healthcare costs. It ignored the hospital's specialized care and made errors about CHOP in public statements. The hospital's team capitalized on the for-profit conversion and criticism of it, pointing out that dropping CHOP would save Horizon money and increase profits but it wouldn't be in patients' best interest.  

Judges agreed that this low-budget, multichannel, highly targeted campaign was “refreshing.”

WeissComm Partners and Galderma
Differin Acne Rumor Control Teen Campaign

Judges thought Galderma and WeissComm did an outstanding job engaging teens online and driving peer dialogue about acne. Though objectives were to increase awareness of acne's seriousness and get teens to seek treatment, this was a fun campaign. The website was the hub, including video chronicles of MTV celebrity Lyndsey Rodrigues, interactive tools and a contest for teens to create and share videos.  Efforts garnered 10 media placements and 85 online postings, with 99% linking to the site and 96% mentioning Differin.

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