PHILADELPHIA — Members of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) were honored at the 50th annual Pepperpot and Achievement Awards at the Down Town Club in Philadelphia on November 13.
The PRSA Pepperpot Awards recognize top-notch public relations campaigns, tactics and professionals from organizations across the Philadelphia region. Over 100 entries in 32 categories, ranging from crisis communications to community relations efforts, were judged by the Fort Worth PRSA chapter.
Gift of Life Donor Program was honored for its public relations efforts to increase awareness of the life-saving difference being an organ donor can make in four categories:
Special Events & Observances – Seven days or fewer – budget more than $15k
Gift of Life was awarded the first place “Pepperpot” award for its work during the three-day Gift of Life Weekend to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation during National Donate Life Month in April 2018. The weekend full of events included Donors Are Heroes’ THE Party fundraising gala, a pre-Donor Dash Packet Pick-up and Picnic and culminated with Gift of Life’s largest annual event, the Donor Dash. The weekend helped Gift of Life achieve more than 5.5 million earned media impressions and attracted more than 10,000 people. Gift of Life was featured on all major Philadelphia broadcast media throughout the weekend.
PRSA recognized Gift of Life’s efforts in communicating the importance of organ donation with the multicultural community with a “Ladle” award. Outreach efforts included a wide variety of traditional communications, grassroots community efforts and school-based outreach programs. The end result is a diverse multicultural communications portfolio that continues to strengthen existing relationships and foster new connections with key stakeholders.
Gift of Life also received a “Ladle” award for a Super Bowl-focused, interactive social media campaign. Gift of Life created a social media campaign in conjunction with Donate Life New England to promote organ donor awareness, by taking advantage of both organizations’ teams (the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots) competing in the Super Bowl. The posts, which encouraged people to indicate the team they were rooting for, reached more than 25,000 people organically and 4,277 more through advertising. While Philadelphia happily won both the social media challenge and the big game, all were winners by driving home the message that organ donation saves lives!
Editorial / Op-eds
Gift of Life’s multicultural communications earned it another “Ladle” award for an editorial/Op-ed column by Gift of Life Donor Program volunteer and Hearts of Gold Chairperson Markita Lewis. After suffering the sudden loss of her son, Marquis, Markita made the decision to say ‘yes’ to organ donation. She now uses her voice to encourage the community to choose donation. Her op-ed piece was published by The Philadelphia Inquirer in July 2018, leading to interview requests by The Philadelphia Tribune and WURD Radio. Her story reached more than 300,000 people, many in the African-American community, where there is a compelling need for organ donation.
Gift of Life Donor Program
Gift of Life Donor Program is the non-profit, federally-designated organ procurement organization, serving 11.2 million people across the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. Its annual donation rate ranks among the highest in the world. Since 1974, Gift of Life has coordinated more than 46,000 life-saving organs for transplant, and approximately one million tissue transplants have resulted from the generosity of donors and their families. One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people, and a tissue donor can enhance the lives of more than 75 others. For more information or to register, visit donors1.org.