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2018 Best in Maryland Winning Entries Summaries.

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CAMPAIGNS

Community Relations

Award of Excellence
Hope Lives Here Fundraising Program
Chase Brexton Health Care | Devaney & Associates

Most healthcare organizations rely on the “grateful patient” fundraising model. But with 88% of its patients living at or below the 100% poverty line, Chase Brexton needed a different strategy. With the help of Devaney & Associates, they developed Hope Lives Here, a membership program for individuals and businesses in the greater community, as well as employees at all Chase Brexton locations. In exchange for recurring donations, members receive unique rewards, from behind-the-scenes clinic tours to free flu clinics for businesses. Using only grassroots tactics, the program raised enough money to care for 221 patients in need in just its first five months.

Crisis Communications

Best in Maryland
Hurricane Harvey & Irma Response
Erickson Living

Erickson Living, manager and developer of 19 continuing care retirement communities throughout the nation, faced an unprecedented challenge in late summer, 2017. Powerful Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were making landfall near its campuses in Texas and Florida, bringing the potential for flooding, power outages and damage. The communications professionals of Erickson Living quickly got to work, bolstered by extensive training and preparation. Throughout the storms and aftermath, they provided messaging to residents, employees and family members that was timely, accurate and transparent over multiple platforms. These actions played a vital role in keeping people informed and safeguarding lives and property.

Events and Observances < 7 days

Award of Excellence
Beyond Bars 25th Anniversary commemoration
Girl Scouts of Central Maryland

During the 2017-2018 Girl Scout year, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland celebrated 25 years of successful programming through our award-winning Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program. To commemorate this milestone there were two events—one at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in Jessup, for current girl members and their incarcerated mothers; a public event held at La Fontaine Bleu in Glen Burnie. The goals were: a) commemorate 25 years of serving girls whose mothers are incarcerated; b) inform the public of the impact of the program and c) raise funds to sustain the program for years to come.

Best in Maryland
Sheetz Launches Made-to-Order Cafe in Charlottesville
Planit

Sheetz, a major Mid-Atlantic convenience chain, leveraged Planit to launch its fourth fuel-free café on the campus of the University of Virginia. A completely new concept as well as a completely new market for the brand, Planit developed a strategic public relations campaign educating students and the community about Sheetz’s unique selling points and the café, driving attendance to the opening, establishing positive relationships with the community and driving sales. The budget was part of the monthly retainer with Planit which included major media efforts launching a new menu item and a National Coffee Day promotion during the same month.

Events and Observances > 7 days

Best in Maryland
Belair Road Supply Centennial Anniversary
Clapp Communications

Clapp Communications was hired by Belair Road Supply, a family-owned and operated construction trade’s supplier which serves the Mid-Atlantic region, to generate press coverage of their centennial anniversary. Anniversaries, even 100 year anniversaries, can be a hard story to pitch so we needed to find a good angle. After extensive primary research, we found our hooks, family and employee tenure, and pitched the story to local media and business publications in the five markets that our client serves. The end result was significant press coverage in the Baltimore market as well as southern Maryland and Delaware.

Integrated Communications

Award of Excellence
New Laws Campaign
Maryland Auto Insurance

In 2017, Maryland Auto executed an integrated campaign to educate consumers about several new auto insurance-related laws in the state. These laws were designed to encourage uninsured drivers to obtain insurance. The legislation specifically outlined a role for Maryland Auto in making consumers aware of these laws which established a new $50 fine for drivers who failed to produce proof of insurance, an amnesty period for uninsured driver penalties, and a new lower-cost policy option. The potential impact of these new laws was closely related to Maryland Auto’s mission of reducing the number of uninsured drivers in the state.

Best in Maryland
Integrace Brand Awareness Campaign
Integrace | Devaney & Associates

Integrace, a family of life-plan communities based in Maryland, was making revolutionary strides in transforming the culture of aging. But the general perception was that Integrace was just another “retirement community” brand. In 2017, Integrace set out to change that with the help of Devaney & Associates. The “I’m Not a Senior” campaign combined the powers of advertising and PR to tell the stories of Integrace’s most fascinating residents, demonstrating that, at Integrace, your age does not define you. The response was tremendous, generating a 77% increase in new leads and more than 80 media placements in its first year.

Internal Communications

Award of Excellence
2017 Employee Engagement, Building a Better Workday
LifeBridge Health

To raise awareness and increase participation in the 2017 employee engagement survey, the LifeBridge Health (LBH) communications team created a multifaceted internal communications campaign, featuring signage, print, video, internal website and kick-off events. The team created a unifying theme (Building a Better Workday) and icon (megaphone) to serve as campaign centerpieces. The comprehensive plan leveraged photos, videos, giveaways, integrated communications and more to create excitement and drive results. This “engaging” campaign truly increased employee engagement and blew away the goal. With an initial target of 60 percent, the “Building a Better Workday “ campaign achieved a 75 percent participation rate!

Best in Maryland
Be a Customer Service Superhero
Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance wanted to increase awareness among its employees about the importance of providing excellent customer service to co-workers, policyholders, and agents. The company also wanted to motivate employees to strive for excellence in customer service if they were not already doing so. To achieve these goals, Chesapeake Employers launched a company-wide customer service campaign that included mandatory service training for all employees. The Communications team chose a superhero theme to create excitement, motivation and engagement among employees.

Marketing

Award of Excellence
BGE Lighting Discount Campaign
BGE

BGE”s Lighting Limited Time Online Promotion is an example of BGE’s ability to implement innovative and dynamic marketing campaigns. By leveraging technology to develop the online retail portal, BGE executed an innovative program promotion and a highly successful marketing campaign. BGE’s exceptional communication with its customer base remains a key factor in all marketing efforts.Customers know they can rely on and trust BGE for information and guidance in saving energy and money. It was clear that customers were inclined to act on the limited time offer because they trusted that BGE would provide the highest quality product at the best price available.

Best in Maryland
We Love Lifting You Higher
BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport with Weber Shandwick

A two-year streak of record passenger traffic made Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI Marshall Airport) the busiest airport in the Baltimore-Washington region by the end of 2016, surpassing passenger numbers for Reagan National and Dulles International airports. But the airport marketing team couldn’t stop there. A 2017 campaign, executed with marketing partner Weber Shandwick, pushed passenger traffic to even greater levels. The high-energy and highly targeted multi-media marketing campaign centered on the Jackie Wilson hit “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher.” The results soared: BWI exceeded 26 million passengers (up from 25.1 million in 2016), continuing its streak as busiest airport in the region for the third year, while creating a record-setting $9.3 billion in economic impact for the state.

Multicultural

Best in Maryland
New Laws Campaign
Maryland Auto Insurance

In 2017, Maryland Auto executed an integrated campaign to educate consumers about several new auto insurance-related laws in the state. The campaign includes a specific strategy for reaching the Latino population. The Latino population of the state was an important audience for this campaign. Recent immigrants often lack the credit history and/or driving record needed to qualify for coverage with standard carriers, making them vulnerable to the new fines established by the new laws. These drivers were also potentially among those who could most benefit from the amnesty program and the lower cost policy created by the laws. Therefore, we needed to ensure that our overall integrated campaign included a specific strategy for raising awareness among the Latino population. And in doing so, we needed to be mindful of the challenges created by language barriers, a cultural lack of trust in governmental agencies like the MVA and a limited budget.

Public Service

Award of Excellence
Annual Check-Up Campaign
Carroll Hospital | Devaney & Associates

In 2017, Carroll Hospital and Devaney & Associates launched the “Don’t Guess” campaign to educate the Carroll County community on a simple—but often neglected—step toward better health: getting an annual check-up with a primary care provider. By positioning annual check-ups as humorous and approachable—but also essential to longevity—the campaign delivered nearly 12,000 unique landing page visitors, a click-through rate 50% higher than the national average, and a 44% post-impression rate from users who returned to the campaign to learn more. As these results show, Carroll Hospital is helping people understand how important an annual check-up really is. 

Award of Excellence
New Laws Campaign
Maryland Auto Insurance

In 2017, Maryland Auto executed a public service campaign to educate consumers about several new auto insurance-related laws in the state. The laws were designed to encourage uninsured drivers to obtain insurance. The legislation specifically outlined a role for Maryland Auto in making consumers aware of these laws which established 1) a new $50 fine for drivers who failed to produce proof of insurance 2) an amnesty period during which the State would forgive outstanding fines for uninsured drivers and 3) a new policy option that lowered costs by not requiring Personal Injury Protection coverage for the first year. The potential impact of these new laws was closely related to our mission of reducing the number of uninsured drivers in the state. The challenge of identifying and reaching uninsured drivers was daunting, and complicated by our need to ensure that our message was “non-competitive” and by our limited budget.

Best in Maryland
Raising Awareness of the Maryland Poison Center
University of Maryland School of Pharmacy

Housed in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, the Maryland Poison Center provides poisoning treatment advice, education, and prevention services to Maryland’s public and health care providers to help decrease the cost and complexity of poisoning and overdose care. In 2017, the Center launched a comprehensive, social media-driven public service campaign to increase the impact of its poison safety messages on its public audience, with an emphasis on the parents of young children. The campaign leveraged multiple channels to achieve optimal public engagement, with results exceeding the expectations of Center leadership.

Reputation/Brand Management

Best in Maryland/Best in Show
Let’s Work to Reduce Opioid Addiction Now
Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Prescription opioid-related overdose deaths continue to rise in Maryland. 2016 saw a 19% increase in such deaths as compared to 2015, according to the Maryland Department of Health. Injured workers are increasingly becoming addicted to the opioids they are given by their doctors for the pain they experience after a workplace injury. In some cases, prescription opioid addiction can lead to heroin addiction, accidental overdose and death. As Maryland’s largest writer of workers’ compensation, Chesapeake Employers Insurance wants to reduce prescription opioid addiction and abuse. The company was called to action because of its longstanding commitment to workplace health and safety.

COMPONENTS

Advertorials

Best in Maryland
Spanish-language Advertorials
Maryland Auto Insurance

Advertorials were a key component of Maryland Auto’s outreach to the Hispanic community. Our Marketing and Communications team developed a series of auto insurance related advertorials for publication in two popular local publications that serve as strong influencers in the Hispanic community – El Tiempo, which serves Maryland residents in the DC suburbs and Mundo Latino, based in Baltimore. Both publications produce web versions, in addition to print, expanding the overall reach. The advertorials focused on providing timely information relevant to the Hispanic community, while also remaining in-brand with Maryland Auto’s ongoing marketing and communication initiatives.

Annual Reports

Award of Excellence
Maryland/DC 2017 Annual Impact Report
The Nature Conservancy in Maryland/DC

The Maryland/DC chapter’s 2017 Annual Impact Report celebrates a place where land rises from the sea to form mountains and people rise to the challenges of their time. It provides a call to action for the coming year, demonstrating that Maryland – and our world – can have sufficient water to grow food and clean water to drink. That we can have stable natural systems and stable livelihoods. And that when it comes to caring for the natural world that takes care of us, we can make intensely local commitments and make our impact felt around the world.

Best in Maryland
Building Stronger Connections – 2016 Annual Report
Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance publishes an Annual Report each year for its policyholders, insurance agents, legislators, and other key stakeholders. More than simply an overview of operations and financial results for the previous year, it also serves as an important marketing tool to tell the company’s brand story to new and prospective customers. “Building Stronger Connections,” the theme of Chesapeake’s 2016 Annual Report, reinforces one of the company’s overarching goals — to form stronger connections with its stakeholders. Central to the success of these relationships are the employees, several of whom are featured here.

Blogs

Award of Excellence
Van Eperen Voices
Van Eperen

The Van Eperen blog was designed to cover industry specific topics to help keep communications professionals up to date on latest industry tips, trends, and updates as well as showcase company culture and promote thought leadership. Van Eperen took strategic steps in planning Van Eperen Voices so the blog could contribute to the agency’s SEO. Van Eperen worked with the Capitol Communicator, an online news source for communicators in the Mid-Atlantic region, on an agreement that would allow Van Eperen to contribute content via Van Eperen Voices. Audiences to be reached included CEOs, CMOs, Marketing Communications VPs, PIOs, Communication Directors and Managers.

Best in Maryland
Flooding the Swamp: Pocomoke Restoration
The Nature Conservancy in Maryland/DC

“Draining the swamp” has become a murky metaphor in DC national politics, but in Maryland, The Nature Conservancy is flooding the swamp to reverse a legacy of ditching and draining along the Pocomoke River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. In 2017, TNC came together with state partners and local landowners to restore a channelized section of the river. The scale of the Pocomoke floodplain restoration project is massive – encompassing roughly 4,000 acres of floodplain along 9-miles of the river – and represents one of the largest ecological restoration efforts in Maryland’s history.

Creative Tactics – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt

Best in Maryland
Maryland Auto Minute
Maryland Auto Insurance

The Maryland Auto Minute was a recurring radio and television segment with an informative / public service announcement perspective. The spots were aimed at raising public awareness and educating Marylanders about the state’s auto insurance requirements and the unique role Maryland Auto plays in the auto insurance market. The effort consisted of weekly spots airing on three radio stations, one television station, as well as a public access cable channel, in the greater Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area throughout 2017. 

Editorial/Op-Ed Columns/Story Placement

Award of Excellence
Private Sector Solutions, Public Sector Challenges
Greater Baltimore Committee

The voice of business and other private sector leaders can be missed in the rush and minutia of the 24-hour news cycle. Yet leaders in the the business world drive – and thrive – on innovative thinking, problem-solving, and deep insight. These are skills that have much to offer elected officials as they confront the complex public challenges of today. The package of GBC columns and on-air commentaries submitted are examples of a committed communications campaign by the GBC to ensure the private sector perspective is broadly disseminated, considered and valued in the discussion and debate on a wide range of issues of vital importance to the local and regional business community, but also to elected leaders and the citizens of the Baltimore region and Maryland.

Award of Excellence
Voice of America
Van Eperen

Ingleside is a premier, charitable not-for-profit provider of comprehensive older adult opportunities in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Based in Rockville, MD, Ingleside is the parent organization for three CARF-accredited, charitable not-for-profit, life plan communities and its affiliates.

Best in Maryland
Don’t Trash Maryland
Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration

Since 2006, nearly 68,000 bags of litter have been collected from sponsored state highways. To combat this issue MDOT SHA ran an Op-Ed piece in the May 24, 2017, Baltimore Sun regarding the issue of litter on the roads in Maryland.

Magazines/Newsletters – Print

Best in Maryland
A Healthy Dose Magazine
Carroll Hospital | Devaney & Associates

Carroll Hospital was built by the community, for the community. So when it comes to creating a healthy living magazine, the hospital can’t settle for canned content. The publication must be personal. A Healthy Dose is planned with that in mind. Every issue includes completely custom content designed to educate residents on health and wellness issues, raise awareness for helpful hospital resources, and keep the community informed of important hospital happenings. Mailed to more than 53,000 households and produced from start to shipping with only a small, nonprofit budget, it’s an invaluable investment in community relations and public health education.

Media Relations – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt

Award of Excellence
The Investment Gap in Spending on Infrastructure
American Society of Civil Engineers & News Generation, Inc.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released its Infrastructure Report Card, which examines current infrastructure conditions and needs; giving the nations’ infrastructure a “D+.” News Generation partnered with ASCE to develop, pitch and implement an effective earned broadcast media relations outreach campaign to strategically earn targeted media impressions. Thirty-two interviews were completed in total for both an RMT and SMT that reached 23,216,853 listeners/viewers, 16 percent above goal. The tours aired nationally on American Urban Radio Network, CBS Radio and NBC News Radio, targeted statewide networks and also helped drive other coverage.

Best in Maryland
Integrace Media Relations Campaign
Devaney & Associates

In 2017, Integrace turned to Devaney & Associates to create a comprehensive public relations program that would not only help establish Integrace as the trailblazer in its industry by touting its transformational philosophy, but raise awareness for each of its communities and the desirable lifestyle they offer within each of its geographic markets. The Integrace campaign netted more than 80 placements, including features secured in print, online, broadcast television and radio outlets.

Media Relations – For Profit

Award of Excellence
Supporting PC44 and Maryland’s Electric Vehicle Goals
Baltimore Gas and Electric

Maryland set a goal to have 300,000 zero-emissions vehicles on the road by 2025 in order to help meet its clean air and water goals. As part of this effort, the state’s Public Utilities Commission brought a diverse stakeholder group together to develop a joint proposal that would create an electric vehicle charging network. If the proposal is approved, 24,000 chargers would be installed throughout the state. BGE communications developed an outreach plan to help educate the public and key stakeholders on the proposal through media placements in order to help attract influential supporters.

Award of Excellence
CBRB Mid-Atlantic President Media Tour
Clapp Communications

Clapp Communications was tasked by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Mid-Atlantic to increase the profile and name awareness of their new president, Duff Rubin, who was also new to the Baltimore Washington region. After interviewing Rubin and learning more about him and his goals for the future and researching area media publications, we crafted our pitch and targeted media list. We decided that a media tour was the best option to achieve our goal of introducing Rubin to the area and getting press coverage in return. The result was numerous lengthy profile pieces in our desired publications, increasing name recognition and awareness of Rubin in the Baltimore Washington area.

Best in Maryland
Charm City Bluegrass Festival
Planit

Since 2015, Planit has been tasked by the Charm City Bluegrass Festival to build relationships with local, regional and industry media in order to secure earned media coverage in order to support ticket sales goals of 3,000-4,000 attendees, generate awareness and media exposure for the festival, and develop and communicate a strong brand messaging platform that expresses the vision and passion behind the event. Relying primarily on media relations tactics, Planit was able to help the festival sell more than 3,700 tickets sold in 2017, a 15% increase year over year.

Publications

Award of Excellence
2018 Scholarly Journals Catalog
JHU Press Journals Division

Vibrant colors help bring the process of discovery and invention alive in the 2018 JHU Press Journals Division Scholarly Journals Catalog. The Marketing Department uses the annual publication not only to share information about its 90 academic journals, but also as a showcase piece to catch the eyes of scholars throughout the year. Hidden images made the 2018 version must see.

Social Media – Assoc/Nonprofit/Govt

Award of Excellence
Securing America’s Future: The Power of Liberal Arts Education
Van Eperen and Council of Independent Colleges

Van Eperen, working with the Council of Independent Colleges, directed the social media component of a major national public information campaign, Securing America’s Future: The Power of Liberal Arts Education, to bust myths and change the conversation about the value of a liberal arts education.

Best in Maryland
“Victories for Veterans” Social Media Video Series
Crosby Marketing Communications

DAV, a leading veterans service organization, helps more than one million veterans and their families each year to get the benefits and support they’ve earned and deserve. To raise awareness of DAV and tell a deeper story about how the organization helps veterans through a variety of challenges, Crosby created a series of video stories for social media. Titled “Victories for Veterans,” the videos tell the stories of real veterans who DAV helped achieve personal victories, great and small.

Social Media – For Profit

Best in Maryland
Powering Lives Through Corporate Citizenship
BGE

BGE has a longstanding history of employee volunteerism and supporting cause initiatives within its service area. Although BGE donates an average of $7 million annually to local non-profits and employees log over 25,000 volunteer hours each year, customer awareness of these efforts seemed non-existent based on customer satisfaction survey results. This presented an opportunity for the company to find a new way to tell its story with the goal of improving its customer satisfaction scores and customer perception related to its community involvement and civic engagement. The company launched a social media campaign focusing on individual employees and the volunteer projects they are passionate about and shined a spotlight on a non-profit the company supports, Hero Dogs, which trains dogs to become service animals for disabled veterans. This grassroots social media campaign proved successful, leading to BGE being ranked 1st in the East Large Segment in the J.D. Power Electric Business Customer satisfaction study with an all-time high score of 790! The biggest improvement seen in Corporate Citizenship. When compared to all other utilities, BGE was listed as 12th in the nation in 2017 compared to 62nd the previous year.

Videos

Award of Excellence
Overcoming Opioids
Maryland Public Television

In February 2017, Maryland Public Television (MPT) launched an addiction and recovery initiative that featured a week of block programming addressing the opioid epidemic that is ravaging Maryland and spreading throughout the United States. Fulfilling MPT’s mission to educate the public through the power of all media, as part of the initiative MPT also produced and published Overcoming Opioids, a series of online videos that communicate important information to targeted audiences about specific issues occurring as a result of America’s expanding opioid epidemic.

Best in Maryland
SPARK Incubator – JPEO-CBRND
A BRIGHT IDEA

Dedicated to protecting the American warfighter against biological and chemical threats, the United States Department of Defense’s efforts continue to evolve. With the goal of attracting innovations from academic and commercial sectors to assist in building a robust technology development and adoption pipeline, A. Bright Idea developed for the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) a promotional video to emphasize the notion that great ideas can come from anywhere. Through custom illustration and animation, the video pairs a concise overview of the easy, no-red-tape submission process with a direct call to action.

Websites

Best in Maryland
ForYourMarriage.org Relaunch
Crosby Marketing Communications

In 2017, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops asked Crosby Marketing Communications to redesign and relaunch ForYourMarrrage.org, its website for practical, faithful advice on dating, engagement and married life. Crosby revamped the site functionality and design for a more mobile friendly, engaging user experience. Since its relaunch, the performance of ForYourMarriage.org has dramatically improved, with increases in sessions, page views and time on site.

A Special Thanks to our 2018 Best in Maryland Sponsors …

Centerpiece (co-sponsor)

Centerpiece (co-sponsor)

And our 2018 Best in Maryland Partners  …

Photography

Printing

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors