We are delighted to have won a Highly Commended award in the Not-for-Profit category at last night's Public Relations Institute of NZ's annual awards. The win was for a highly successful campaign that we ran for Macular Degeneration NZ last year.
Macular degeneration (MD) is a degenerative eye disease that is this country’s leading cause of blindness. One in seven New Zealanders over the age of 50 have the condition, which can quickly cause vision loss if left untreated. Early detection and treatment are crucial for preventing further vision loss.
Our client Macular Degeneration New Zealand planned to run an awareness week to encourage people to take a simple test (Amsler Grid) that can detect the condition, and then seek help immediately if there were any warning signs.
Health awareness weeks are a dime a dozen so gaining attention was going to be challenging given that: a) there was nothing new to say; b) the health condition is mainly experienced by old people so has little ‘sex appeal’ to the news media; and c) there was a modest budget to reach nearly a quarter of New Zealand’s population.
How our PR campaign got great results
Clever thinking and smart targeting achieved results that greatly exceeded the client’s expectations.
The PR campaign, which combined media relations with social media marketing, involved having macular degeneration suffers telling their personal stories. We made them the campaign's heroes and created Facebook content that was posted for 10 days covering both ends of the awareness week. Their stories were told from the first person perspective, which created an emotional connection with the audience.
The campaign achieved excellent reach and engagement on Facebook, showing that people had really connected with MD-sufferers' personal stories.
Visits to MDNZ's website sky-rocketed by 1000% and 0800 number calls increased from 2-3 per day, to 20-40 per day during the awareness week. Many of the calls involved inquiries about getting an Amsler Grid pamphlet. We also over-achieved our news media targets, gaining two television, four radio and 15 newspaper articles nationwide.
In addition to the PRINZ Award achievement, this campaign was also a finalist in the 2016 SMAKL social media awards.
Take the test!
It only takes a few seconds to do a simple test that detects macular degeneration, so visit MDNZ's website and click on the "Take the Test" button. It could save your vision!