Best Cause Advocacy Campaign

Surgeons’ group fights ‘distracted walking’ with ad campaign

‘Digital Deadwalkers’ sought to prevent injuries caused while watching smartphones on the street.

Digital Deadwalkers: A Public and Media Relations Campaign- Logo

You’ve seen it—in fact, you’ve probably done it: Walked down the street with your eyes glued to the screen of your smartphone while texting, reading or watching a video. Although distracted driving is the cause of many injuries, members of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) have seen an increase in the number of patients injured due to distracted walking.  For “Digital Deadwalkers,” a campaign that delivered measurable results and saved a lot of people a lot of pain and misery, AAOS has won first place in the “Cause Advocacy Campaign” category of PR Daily’s 2016 Media Relations Awards.

AAOS launched “Digital Deadwalkers” to raise awareness of the problem and influence people to keep their eyes on the sidewalk. TV and radio ads at the heart of the campaign challenged people to engage with their surroundings. These ads, available in 60-, 30- and 15-second packages ,were distributed to thousands of cable, television and radio stations across the country, serving up a call to action prompting viewers and listeners to visit a dedicated landing page at

The campaign produced impressive results, including national and local media coverage that featured most of the top-tier press outlets: The New York Times, The Washington Post, “CBS This Morning,” NBC News and more.

Congratulations to Sheryl Cash, Melissa Leeb, Lauren Riley, Kayee Ip and Kelly Johnson for their award-winning work.


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