Best Viral Media Relations Campaign

Uplifting documentary video earns +5 million views

A thank-you to a lifesaving team earned coverage on viral sites and mainstream media.

Mother’s “Thank You Project” Goes Viral Via Innovative Media Relations- Logo

Ten years ago, Kellie Haddock, her husband and newborn son were in a devastating car crash. Her husband died instantly, and her son was critically injured. The efforts of the staff at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children saved the boy’s life and, a decade later, Haddock wanted to identify and thank the individuals who contributed to his survival. 

With the help of MediaSource, the hospital’s communication partner, Haddock saw the project come into being. The resulting documentary has earned MediaSource first place for Best Viral campaign in PR Daily’s 2016 Media Relations Awards.

Recognizing a compelling story when they heard one, hospital communicators worked with MediaSource to create a remarkable video.  The team knew the subject matter would cross multiple boundaries (including earned, paid, owned, and social media), leading them to employ a documentary approach. 

Existing relationships with the news media helped draw attention to the video, including its initial airing on NBC’s TODAY show. Following that airing, other media were pitched, extending the video’s reach. 

Ultimately, the video wound up listed on sites that curate and share viral content, including the San Francisco Globe, FaithTap, LittleThings, and ThisBlewMyMind. The Facebook post earned close to 100,000 shares, 23,000 shares from YouTube, and 12,000 shares from TODAY’s website. 

In total, the video has been seen on YouTube more than 5 million times. Seeing the reaction of staff members who are frequently too busy to give much thought to the long-term impact their work has on patients and families spotlights the humanity of the work of the hospital and its employees. 

For demonstrating the power of documentary storytelling as a communication channel, congratulations to Lisa Arledge Powell, Clark Powell, Shannon McCormick, Jerred Ziegler, Robert Leitch, Kevin Volz, Garry Checki, Kelly Stincer, Colleen O’Morrow, Drew Schaar, Kristina Feduik, Rocky Sanguinetti, Lisa Renee Martyn, Kena Lewis, Michael Schmidt, Geo Morales, Sabrina Childress, Desmond Jordon, and Katie Dagenais.


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