Shoo the Flu – Bailey Lauerman

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Imagine a well-known CEO on a mission to have every child in his community receive a flu shot. For free. In a matter of a month.

Now imagine the community is the populous San Francisco Bay Area, with literally hundreds of thousands of children of all socio-economic class.

So, how do you reach and influence parents to allow their children to receive a free flu shot? And how do you turn them into advocates, spreading the word, so that other parents follow suit? And how do you do it while remaining an anonymous donor?

First things first: find partners with the know-how to make it happen –one that can assist with the logistics of the program, and the other to produce creative, persuasive communication that delivers a credible argument to vaccinate in an approachable and relevant way.

For the logistics part, the donor contacted TotalWellness, a national corporate health and wellness provider, to assist with the implementation of the program. TotalWellness contacted Bailey Lauerman to help spread the word.

To make things even more interesting, Bailey Lauerman had only one week to develop, launch and promote the free flu shot program in a large metropolitan area with an equally large Spanish-speaking population. With no paid advertising and no on-the-ground support.

An area that’s already saturated with messaging in every nook and cranny.

Though it was an unusually tight deadline, Bailey Lauerman had the expertise to develop and execute a killer campaign that reached a fairly large audience through social and PR channels. One that delivered a message of education and entertainment, convincing each and every parent of the benefits of childhood flu vaccinations, while arming them with what they needed to spread the word in a non-preachy way.

In a short amount of time, our very talented and capable team developed:

  • A catchy name, Shoo the Flu, identity, flu characters, stickers and shareable social badges
  • A landing page to serve as the central hub for information that included a map of the Target Pharmacy® locations administering the shots, as well as flu myth busters and frequently asked questions –
  • Facebook and Google+ pages
  • Partnerships with key public schools and non-profits serving children
  • Information distribution channels through local and state health departments
  • Media buzz by pitching timely pieces as a national influenza story was breaking
  • Stories that caught the attention of influential bloggers, including “mommy bloggers” in both the pro- and anti-vaccine camps
  • Posters that were translated to Spanish in order to reach a wider demographic

Then, on the eve of the launch, the anonymous donor decided to be way less anonymous. We needed a communication strategy to attribute this grand community health gesture to Google CEO Larry Page and his wife, Lucy, through their Page Family Foundation. No problem.

The program launched without a hitch on December 1, 2012.

So how did it do? In the first week, Shoo The Flu was covered by some of the area’s most prominent newspapers and TV stations – San Francisco Chronicle; the local NPR affiliate, KQED-FM; Univision 14 KDTV-TV, a Hispanic-speaking television station.

It reached more than 31,000 Facebook users. Daily Shoo The Flu posts were shared on Google+ and Facebook, including one post shared by Larry Page on Google+.

In just a month, 1,500 flu shots were administered –that’s more than 20 times the normal amount of shots.

The campaign was so successful, the Pages decided to extend the free flu shots for another month.

By the end of the second month, a total of 4,865 shots were administered.

The campaign then went to exceed even more expectations by winning Best Social Media Campaign from Ragan’s 2013 PR Daily Awards, along with two honorable mentions for Best Cause-Related Campaign and Best Community Relations Campaign.

You have to admit, that’s some pretty good shooing of the flu.

UNO Holds “Big Biz in the Big O” PR Conference

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Members of Nebraska PRSA are invited to join students and learn more about such topics as digital media, branding and event planning  at “Big Biz in the Big O,” Regional Conference April 12-14,  at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

Hosted by MaverickPR, the UNO Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter, the conference also features sessions on agency PR, entrepreneurial PR and corporate social responsibility

The chapter has invited more than 100 students from universities in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and South Dakota. All events are held at Mammel Hall in the College of Business Administration on the south campus.

The conference opens Friday, April 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. with a “Viva la Omaha” social and presentation by Phil Gomes, senior vice president of Edelman Digital in Chicago,

Sessions begin on Saturday, April 13, at 9:30 a.m. One session features a panel of agency professionals from Swanson Russell, Bozell, Bailey Lauerman and Emspace Group.  Another session features branding presented by representatives from ConAgra Foods and Kiewit Corp. The event planning session includes presenters from the Omaha Sports Commission and Omaha Fashion Week.

The conference closes on Sunday, April 14, at 9:30 a.m. with portfolio do’s and don’ts, and a keynote speech on leadership by Dr. Tim McMahon, president of McMahon Marketing and a Creighton University associate professor, who teaches leadership, marketing and social media in the College of Business.

“Our team chose the theme, ‘Big Biz in the Big O’ because of Omaha’s wealth of public relations and communications professionals from major agencies and Fortune 500 companies,” said Karen Weber, UNO PRSSA faculty adviser. “Students and professionals can learn best practices from each other during the interactive sessions and through numerous networking opportunities at this conference.”

The cost to attend the three-day conference is only $35 for PRSA Nebraska members until the day of the conference. The registration fee includes the Friday night reception, continental breakfast on Saturday and Sunday and a box lunch on Saturday.

To register, visit or the UNO PRSSA regional conference page on Facebook. Checks should be mailed in care of Karen Weber, UNO PRSSA Faculty Adviser, Arts & Sciences Hall, Room 140, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 6001 Dodge Street, Omaha, NE 68182-0112

For more information, contact: Megan Romero, chapter president at (402) 880-9485 or e-mail

MaverickPR, the University of Nebraska at Omaha chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSSA), offers students interested in public relations opportunities in professional development and community and university service. One of the most active student organizations on campus, UNO PRSSA earned the F. H. Teahan National PRSSA Award for Outstanding Chapter in 2012 and 2009 and Outstanding University Service in 2010.

Media pros offer tips on pitching

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From left: Ann Pedersen, Cate Folson and Jim Reding

By Kate O’Dell

The most valuable tool a public relations professional can possess is a strong relationship with reporters and editors.  Building those relationships takes time and insight.  In order to better work with the media, it is best to understand what they are looking for from you as a PR professional.

Ann Pedersen, director of public relations for Lovgren Marketing group, was a journalist for 30 years.   When she changed career fields from TV news director to public relations director, her experience in news was a valuable asset.  She mediated a discussion with Cate Folsom, government editor at the Omaha World-Herald, and Jim Reding, director of assignments and planning at KETV Channel 7 at the October Nebraska PRSA luncheon.

During the panel, Folsom and Reding answered questions from Pedersen and from the luncheon guests.  The questions were broad from social media to pet peeves.  Below is a list of different statements made during this panel discussion.

What are reporters looking for?

“We are always looking for the human element in the story, if you can give that.” — Folsom

“The more local you are, the more interested we are.” — Folsom

“I would never turn down lists of ideas, but don’t be disappointed when it doesn’t all get picked up.” – Reding

“If I’m the only person who sees [the news release], we’re gonna miss it.” – Reding

“My dream news release says who, what, where and why.” — Reding

How should you treat reporters?

“First thing you should ask (when calling a newsroom) is: ‘Is now a good time?’” — Reding

When the media gets it wrong and reports something inaccurately, “Would you rather hear from your boss that you messed up or hear it yourself the first time?”Reding

When should you send a news release?

In a television newsroom, it doesn’t matter if you send the release months in advance.  They are working on things the day of most of the time, so be timely with your news release.

“If you come to the newsroom, you’re not going to be like, ‘Wow, I’m so impressed with how organized you are.’” – Reding

Deadlines for a newspaper are different, do not expect coverage if you send the release an hour before the event. — Folsom

What do reporters think of media kits?

“Information is excellent; trinkets are unnecessary.” – Folsom

How do reporters use social media?

“We live on Twitter, yet I’ve never Tweeted.” – Reding

While being adept and social media tools is important, Reding and Folsom both encourage PR professionals to focus on developing relationships with reporters and editors. Other tips centered on being accurate, factual and accessible.

Gearing up for the Midwest District Conference

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Gearing up for the Midwest District Conference

By: Kellie Wostrel, APR

PRSA Chicago is partnering with 15 other Midwest PRSA chapters to offer two days of invaluable, educational sessions. The PRSA Midwest District conference, which will be held July 19-20, will feature some of the best PR professionals in our region. A full detailed agenda can be found online at

This is not only exciting for the Midwest District but also our Nebraska chapter. Earlier this month, I had the pleasure to meet with Abby Lovett, President-Elect of PRSA Chicago and Debra Bethard-Caplick, MBA, APR of PRSA Suburban Chicago. Both Abby and Debra have been heavily involved in leading and supporting the coordination of this inaugural event.

Abby talked with me about collaboration. She said that in addition to support from Chicago PR professionals, every chapter in the Midwest region is somehow playing a role in the event. According to Abby, this is truly a one-stop-shop for exciting professional programming (and with speakers representing Boeing, ComEd, Edelman Digital and GolinHarris, we tend to agree)! Midwest members were polled on what types of programming would be of most value to them in their career. The programming agenda definitely reflects the polling results. Session topics will include branding, digital, social media and crisis management.

Along with invaluable learning opportunities, the conference will be a chance for us Midwesterners to connect with our neighbors and enjoy some time in the windy city. Debra and the PRSA Suburban Chicago Chapter have been involved in organizing the Happy Hour event at the Hancock Towers (July 18th at 6 p.m.). Debra said that the Midwest District Conference is really an opportunity to experience a national conference on a regional level. The program offers a day and a half of engaging topics designed to inspire, challenge and educate…and all at a great price. Registration is only $200. The event will be held at the beautiful campus of Loyola University, School of Communications.

A big thank you Abby, Debra, PRSA Chicago, regional chapters and our Midwestern leaders who have pulled together to design an event that speaks to the value of our profession. And to our PRSA Nebraska members…we hope to see you in Chicago!

To learn more, log on to

Time to Obtain Your APR

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April is APR month. If you haven’t earned your accreditation in public relations (APR), this is a good month to get started.

I have found the APR is a differentiator. It shows you have put your education and training to the test and succeeded. It makes you stand out. I think it also brings respect, especially from professionals in other fields who have had to show others they can meet high standards. At least it has worked for me with law enforcement officers and engineers.

Is it easy to attain? No. But few things worth having are. PRSA has made it is easy to get started, however, and provide help along the way. Log into your PRSA account and go to the accreditation page ( It will walk you through the process. The page also contains testimonials from accredited professionals on what APR means to them. One in particular points out that going through the process boosted her self-confidence and ability to compete for positions.

Many of us find ourselves doing a limited number of PR functions in our jobs. By the time you earn your APR, you will have sharpened your knowledge of a wide range of PR practices and fundamentals. That brings self-confidence.

There’s also help locally. Those of us who have earned our APR are willing to provide advice and encouragement. We are here to help. Feel free to contact me. Let’s get started turning the first three letters in April into the first three letters after your name.

Jeff Hanson, APR
Accreditation Chair

In Memory of Past PRSA Nebraska President

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David F. Barber, 89, died November 5, 2011.

Dave was director of public relations at Metropolitan Utilities District when he retired in 1987 with more than 10 years of service. He authored the District’s history book “Trial and Triumph,” published in 1989 to commemorate the centennial of the Florence Water Works.

A graduate of Creighton Prep, he received a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Nebraska in 1947.

Dave worked for the Omaha World-Herald, Falstaff Brewing Corp., ConAgra and the United Way of the Midlands before joining the District in 1976.

He was an accredited public relations professional, serving as president of the Nebraska chapter of the Public Relations Society of America in 1978.

The family will hold private services in St. Louis, MO. Condolences or memorials may be sent to:

Tim Barber
1071 Midland Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63130

Content provided by Tracey Christensen at MUD

5 PR and Marketing Books

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5 PR and Marketing Books for your summer reading list (and beyond)

By: Kevin Allen

Sure, it’s almost August, but there’s still time to kick back with a cool cocktail and a summer read.

If you’re planning to hit the beach (or your patio) soon, mix business and pleasure with one of these seven titles that tackle social media, PR, and marketing. They’re recommendations from Lexington, Ky.’s Herald-Reader contributing columnist Anne Marie van den Hurk.

Here’s van den Hurk’s must-read list:

1. Now Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter, and More Social by Jay Baer and Amber Naslund.

2. PR 2.0 by Deirdre Breakenridge.

3. Social Marketing to the Business Customer by Paul Gillin and Eric Schwartzman.

4. Social Media ROI by Olivier Blanchard.

5. Welcome to the Fifth Estate: How to Create and Sustain a Winning Social Media Strategy by Geoff Livingston. (Click here to read an excerpt of this book.)

For more book recommendations, see PR Daily’s list of summer reads.

Article from:

14 Social Media Stats For Your Next Presentation

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People are crazy about social media statistics. It seems like research, PR and publishing firms are coming out with new studies virtually every week. These stats often blow our minds–and we often use them to fuel blog posts, Facebook updates and tweets.

We also use them for our presentations. Whether it’s a presentation for a local trade or professional organization, or an internal presentation within your company or agency, social media stats are useful “objects” we share, note and remember. I even made a post a few months ago that’s been among my most “popular” this year featuring 16 social media statistics that you may have not heard.

Today, I wanted to share a few more statistics I’ve stumbled on lately in my research and reading. I thought these data points were interesting for various reasons–and, if you’re like me, they may be worth noting for use in future presentations.

  • 33% of all Facebook users update on the platform using a mobile device–but just 4% of those use an iPhone and 5% use an Android phone.
  • Among mass consumers, 55% said they would consider using Facebook Places while only 6% said they would consider using Foursquare.
  • Among early adopters, 90% said they would consider using Facebook Places while only 22% said they would consider using Foursquare.
  • Location-based sites and services (such as Foursquare and Facebook Places) are familiar to 30% of Americans 12+ and used by 4% of Americans 12+.
  • Nearly a quarter of social network users indicated that Facebook is the social site or service that most influences their buying decisions. No other site or service was named by more than 1% of the sample, and 72% indicated that no one social site or service influenced their buying decisions the most.
  • Twitter is as familiar to Americans as Facebook (with 92% and 93% familiarity, respectively); however, Twitter usage stands at 8% of Americans 12+.
  • Fifty-seven million people read and follow blogs.
  • More than 12 million adults currently maintain a blog.
  • Approximately 20,000 users contribute more than half all Twitter content, which is .01 percent of total users

Source: Blogging, April 2011, B2B Social Media Guide
  • How social networking site use breaks down: 92 percent on Facebook, 29 percent use MySpace, 18 percent use LinkedIn, 13 percent use Twitter
  • On Facebook on an average day, 22 percent of users comment on another’s post or status, 20 percent on photos, 26 percent “Like” another’s content
  • Nearly twice as many men use LinkedIn (63 percent compared to 37 percent with women). All other social networking sites have significantly more female users than male users
  • From 2008 to 2010 the percentage of people using social networking sites fell for 18-22 year-olds by 12% (from 28% in 2008 to 16% in 2010) and for 23-35 year-olds by 8% (from 40% in 2008 to 32% in 2010)
  • Meanwhile, social networking usage grew for 36-49 year-olds by 4% (from 22% in 2008 to 26% in 2010) and for 50-65 year-olds by 11% (from 9% in 2008 to 20% in 2010)

Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project, Social networking sites and our lives, June 16, 2011

A version of this story first appeared on Arik Hanson’s blog Communications Conversations.

In Memory of Public Relations Professional Joe Rowson

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Joe Rowson worked behind the scenes to educate kids


Longtime University of Nebras­ka administrator Joe Rowson was often behind the scenes, working on behalf of Nebraska children.

After working for the Lincoln Public Schools, he served the Uni­versity of Nebraska as director of public affairs and then as assistant vice president for external affairs and director of communications.

He also worked at the university as senior fellow on the Nebraska P-16 Initiative to improve pre­school through college education.

Rowson died of brain cancer Thursday at his Lincoln home. He was 71.

“Joe Rowson was a wonderful friend and colleague whose pas­sion for education was the founda­tion of his long career with Lincoln Public Schools and the University of Nebraska,” NU President J.B. Milliken said in a statement.

He added: “Joe’s contributions to the community and to public education are significant, but he will be remembered most for his unfailing kindness and his deep affection for his family and friends.” Rowson, a native of Des Moines, earned a bachelor’s degree at Mar­quette Universi­ty in Milwaukee and a master’s degree in jour­nalism and mass communication at Iowa State University.

Sandra Rowson of Lincoln, his wife of 48 years, said her hus­band never retired. He continued to work as much as he could after he learned in October that he had brain cancer, she said.

“He enjoyed being the person behind the person in charge. He believed in public relations as re­lating to the public, and that meant truthful information.”

Rowson worked 11 years for the Lincoln Public Schools. He was ac­tive in the National School Public Relations Association, served as the association’s national presi­dent from 1980 to 1981 and worked to establish its accreditation pro­gram.

When he joined the university in 1985, Rowson became active in the Public Relations Society of America. A few years ago, the or­ganization recognized him as a se­nior fellow.

A Navy veteran, Rowson was active in more than 20 profession­al and community organizations, including associations for school administrators and the Salvation Army. “He’s been a mentor to many, and he loved that,” Sandra Rowson said.

He was proud in his later years to be involved with the Nebraska P-16 Initiative and working with Milliken and Gov. Dave Heineman on the program, she said.

“He believed in public institu­tions,” she said. “He was vitally interested that children be edu­cated all the way through and that they don’t quit before they are through.”

Besides his wife, Rowson is sur­vived by daughters Ann Rowson Love of Davenport, Iowa, and Eliz­abeth Zahorjan of Seattle; sister Mary Manhart of Omaha; and four grandchildren.

Funeral services were pending.

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