Media Relations Campaign of the Year – Over $50k

Survey results included some eye-raising gems to create interest in a dull topic

The need to educate people doesn’t make it any easier to draw attention to benefits enrollment season.

Aflac 2017 Open Enrollment Media Relations Campaign: Empowering Consumers to Make Smart Benefits Choices- Logo

Hill+Knowlton Strategies had strong insights into what it would take to get Aflac’s survey story placed: interesting angles, targeted pitches and the credibility that accrues to a third-party spokesperson. Its success has earned the Grand Prize in the “Campaign Over $50,000” category of PR Daily’s 2018 Media Relations Awards.

The Aflac survey addressed public attitudes about open enrollment for employee benefits. By ensuring they were involved from the start, the team was able to inject some questions into the survey that would be guaranteed to produce results that editors and reporters would notice—for example, what undesirable activity, like walking on hot coals or holding a screaming baby, would you rather engage in than researching your benefits options?

The team dove into the survey results looking for outlier data and anomalies that would attract reporters’ attention and found it with the fact that a majority of consumers have a false sense of confidence when it comes to benefits enrollment.

Hill+Knowlton put together a textbook approach to earning coverage for the survey: press releases; consumer confusion and other intriguing results; matte releases and infographics; articles; social media; and distribution of content through broker and agent channels.

As a result, what could have been a tough sell earned 79 placements, including the survey’s first appearance in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Between earned and paid media, the survey produced more than 1 billion impressions, coverage that correlates to an all-time Aflac record for premium sales at the height of the campaign, a sales increase of 6.7 percent—the ultimate goal of any PR effort.

Congratulations to the team at Hill+Knowlton.

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