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Weber Shandwick - Media Relations Campaign

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 American Business Awards

Company: Weber Shandwick, Chicago, IL
Company Description: We're a leading global communications agency, delivering daily on what we do best: engage. We earn attention and incite action for the best brands and organizations worldwide by championing integration and placing people, culture and relationships at the heart. Always.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Media Relations

Nomination Title: Downsides to Dairy-free Diets Media Relations Campaign

Tell the story about this nominated campaign since January 1 2017 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

Moms are confused about milk. In fact, four out of 10 moms don’t know that dairy milk and non-dairy milk alternatives do not have the same nutrients, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF).

The fact is, milk’s nutrients are hard to replace. It’s difficult for kids to get enough nutrients they need without milk in the diet. And, decades of research and hundreds of studies support the benefits of drinking milk.

MilkPEP (Milk Processor Education Program) set out to debunk the myths. Using facts, trustworthy experts and scientific research, we launched a new campaign to help mom get answers to her questions about milk – including non-dairy milk – and her kids. Dubbed the “Downsides to Dairy-free Diets” campaign, we focused on providing balanced information while educating her on the health impact of NOT drinking milk – giving mom the facts to make educated choices when it comes to her kids’ nutrition.

Our objectives for this campaign were two-fold:

-Increase moms’ encouragement of milk for her kids
-Improve moms’ perceptions of milk (less doubt and confusion)

In order to clear up confusion, we implemented the following strategic tactics, built around our three key proof points – milk’s nutrient advantage, the fact that it’s hard to replace the nutrients found in milk and that dairy alternatives are not created equal.

To spread awareness and get moms to take another look at milk, we:

-Leveraged credible partner to grab headlines: We leveraged the inherent credibility of our NOF partner to distribute a national survey generating findings around the prevalence of dairy-free diets and its role in osteoporosis to help drive our story and establish relevance.
-We utilized the results to inform our media story and establish relevance around the increased interest in dairy-free diets and the potential health impact they could have.
-Enlisted mom-trusted experts: We partnered with dozens of health professionals, including national pediatrician spokesperson Dr. Tanya Altmann, NOF spokesperson and Medical Director Dr. Andrea Singer and registered dietitians in key markets to provide media appeal and credibility while naturally bridging mom and kid messages.
-We kicked off our media efforts in July with mass, nationwide delivery of survey statistics and supporting research around milk and milk alternatives. Specifically, we published a press release speaking to the health impact of going dairy-free for moms and her kids to clear up moms’ confusion about this popular trend; distributed an audio news release with Medical Director of the NOF, Dr. Andrea Singer, to instill credibility; and issued a mat release focused on creating “smart choices” and fueling kids for the upcoming back-to-school season with nutritious recipe suggestions.
-To reach targeted local markets with significant milk sales declines, we worked with a dozen registered dietitians to coordinate local broadcast segments reaching moms in target markets. We secured segments in 15 target markets, with placements resulting in nationwide syndication, social media amplification and online coverage.
-On a national broadcast scale, we joined forces with trusted pediatrician, Dr. Tanya Altmann, and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Liz Weiss, to elevate the conversation around the downfalls of dairy-free diets on a national scale. In addition to conducting 39 combined broadcast interviews, Dr. Tanya participated in one-on-one meetings with editors from Parents, Fit Pregnancy, Family Circle and NYMetroParents to further build media awareness.
-Delivered competitive story: To further reinforce the growing body of proof for why milk is so important for kids, we leveraged scientific research in the distribution of three science alerts promoting studies around the drawbacks of milk alternatives and dairy milk’s protein advantage. The alerts were sent to more than 20,000 subscribers, including journalists seeking health and science news, experts and more.

Addressed moms’ questions about milk alternatives: We drove our audience back to our search-optimized mom destination comparing milk and milk alternatives in five key areas – nutrition. Ingredient list, added sugars, price and taste - on

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief features and results of this nominated PR program since the beginning of 2017 (up to 150 words).

-Generated 4,000+ positive stories educating moms nationwide on how milk and milk alternatives are not created equal, which helped drive a positive trend in active encouragement of milk among moms of young kids following the campaign (per MilkPEP research) as well as an increase in moms’ agreement with positive milk benefits during the campaign.
-Delivered more than 183MM impressions, connecting with moms across the country through trusted experts.
-We activated in 25 targeted local markets, including 18 top 25 DMAs.
-We enlisted dozens of health professionals through our partnerships with registered dietitians, a renowned pediatrician and the NOF.
-To date, our dedicated mom destination on has received 95,179 views with viewers spending an average of 8 minutes and 3 seconds on the site.