Here at Martin Waymire, we are proud of the work we do for all of our clients who are dedicated to making Michigan a better place. Today, we are especially proud to announce that we have won a Silver Anvil award — the top PR award in the nation — from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), for our work on the I Vaccinate campaign, a joint private-public effort of the Franny Strong Foundation and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) aimed at encouraging parents to protect their children from vaccine-preventable diseases.
The Silver Anvil is considered “the Pulitzer Prize” of the public relations profession. This is the fifth Silver Anvil won by Martin Waymire staffers over the years, a remarkable accomplishment for any public relations firm.
In recent years, Michigan’s childhood immunization rates ranked among the nation’s worst –44th for toddlers aged 19 to 35 months. Through the I Vaccinate campaign, Michigan improved from 44th to 29th for immunization coverage among toddlers. The percentage of Michigan toddlers that were up to date on all recommended vaccinations increased 5 percentage points, from 54% to 59.2%, according to state data from December 2019. The percentage of Michigan teens that were up to date on all recommended vaccinations increased 12 percentage points, from 29% to 41.3%. Unfortunately, rates in Michigan and in states across the nation started to decline again after COVID-19 struck late last winter, requiring new efforts to regain lost ground in the public health effort to protect children against life-threatening diseases.
Martin Waymire’s work on the I Vaccinate campaign included securing more than 400 news stories in local, statewide and national media outlets. The company also partnered with 21 parent bloggers and social influencers to share their personal stories about the importance of vaccination. These posts were shared more than 10,000 times on social media. In addition, Martin Waymire’s team managed a multi-platform social media campaign that received more than 13.4 million impressions and 634,000 engagements (likes, shares, comments and clicks) and drove 123,000 visits to IVaccinate.org.
The success of the campaign is thanks to the strong team of health experts and marketing and communications professionals that have informed this important work over the past four years. We are so grateful to Franny Strong Foundation founder and president Veronica McNally for creating I Vaccinate with the help of the creative minds at Brogan & Partners, to the MDHHS immunization and communication teams for their expertise and leadership on bringing the campaign statewide, and to Brogan & Partners for their partnership on this campaign and many other successful campaigns.
Our work on this issue is just beginning, and as the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted, is more important than ever.