What Award-Winning Campaigns Have in Common

Intrepid had a big night at this year’s PRSA Silver Anvil Awards in New York City, winning four awards. Known as the “Oscars of the PR World,” Silver Anvils are awarded to companies with the best and boldest public relations campaigns. We were honored to be recognized in four separate categories (events, community relations, public service and brand/reputation management) for our work on UDOT's Student Neighborhood Access Program (SNAP).

Winning awards is exciting and gratifying – it’s fun to talk about your cool campaigns and how they’ve surpassed expectations in every regard. It’s also interesting to pause and think about how and why the campaigns won the recognition. Sometimes it’s because of innovative technology and outreach. Sometimes it’s about the creative. Many things factor into the creation of exceptional work.

Regardless of the specifics, the one thing that all successful campaigns have in common is that they’re rooted in research and strategy. Campaigns that work – and work well – are deliberately designed and executed. It’s typically not an accident when a company or agency has a brilliant campaign. It’s the result of doing your homework, knowing who you’re trying to influence and determining how to best reach and engage – and making sure the insights garnered act the foundation upon which the entire campaign is built.

Our goal on the SNAP campaign was to increase engagement in safe walking and biking to school programs. We started by learning more about the attitudes and perceptions of parents regarding their children getting to and from school. We got inside the heads of these parents and learned interesting (and sometimes surprising) info that led us to create a forward-thinking smartphone app that offered them group walks to enhance student safety and notifications when they arrived at school OR reassurance that their children were being accompanied on their walks to school and notifications when they arrived. During the first year of the campaign, audience behaviors dramatically changed. Students and parents walked and biked 88,000 miles to school. More than 91,000 car trips were reduced, 37 million grams of CO2 emissions were eliminated, and app users burned nearly 9 million calories. The continued success of this campaign can be traced back to our focus on understanding our audiences and their needs.

We are pleased to win accolades for our work, but it’s more rewarding to see the differences this campaign is making in the lives of children, their parents and the broader community.