Wyoming Campaign Gains National Recognition
DENVER, March 24, 2014 — A campaign to increase eye, organ and tissue donation in Wyoming has earned the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank a selection as a finalist for the Silver Anvil Award. The Silver Anvils are an icon of the public relations profession and are given by the Public Relations Society of America. The awards recognize the very best public relations programs in the nation and the highest standards of performance in the profession. Commonly referred to as “the Oscars of the public relations profession,” the awards are based on the inclusion of all the components of best practice in public relations: research, strategy, planning, execution and evaluation.
The campaign was based on research showing that most non-donors think their age, health conditions or lifestyle prevented them from signing up to be eye, organ and tissue donors. For example, some conclude that because they are not able to donate blood, they cannot donate anything. Others assume that a chronic health condition such as diabetes means they would not be a good candidate. Still others believe you must be young and in top shape to be a good organ donor. The campaign was designed to address those worries.
Robert Austin, the eye bank’s manager of public & professional relations said the campaign breaks the common mold. “Far too often, we’ve found that organizations want to speak about the dire need for organ and tissue donation because that is what motivates us who work in the field.” Austin said. “But research has shown time and again that those messages don’t necessarily motivate people who haven’t already signed up. We used that research and created a campaign that spoke directly the concerns people have. Then we tested them in focus groups to be sure it hit the mark. It is very nice to be recognized for our thorough methodology.”
The campaign was developed by the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank and is based, in part, on focus group research conducted by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center at the University of Wyoming. Every driver’s license office in the state features the campaign, where statistical analysis showed increases in the donation rates over the short term. Monitoring of the campaign is ongoing.
Winners will be announced on June 12, 2014 in New York City.
The Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank’s is the nonprofit organization responsible for the recovery and transplantation of donated eye tissues in all of Wyoming except for Uinta, Sweetwater and Lincoln counties. The Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank’s mission is to fulfill the wishes of eye donors and their families to help another overcome blindness through transplantation and research.