Case Study: Media Attention for Vote and Vax

Tied to the 2008 elections, Vote & Vax established nearly 300 flu clinics at polling sites in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and directed by the Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration (SPARC), Vote & Vax is a national, non-partisan and non-political public health effort intended to provide convenient flu vaccinations to people already visiting voting sites.

Spitfire planned and executed a communications campaign to promote Vote & Vax clinics. We provided ongoing communications counsel and rapid response support to local Vote and Vax partners and also lead a series of webinars offering communications tips and strategies, assisted with public outreach, and conducted extensive media pitching over the duration of the project.

Spitfire’s highly successful media push generated more than 160 media hits during the 2008 election week, including a national Associated Press article and stories in the Washington Post and Boston Globe and on Vote & Vax was also featured twice on CNN national broadcasts, once live from an early voting site and once taped in the studio. Vote & Vax director Dr. Doug Shenson was interviewed by ABC News Now for the “Healthy Living” show, as well as for “All Things Considered” on NPR. Vote & Vax was also covered by the Atlanta NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox affiliates. In addition to the national and Atlanta coverage, local clinics received media coverage in outlets from Maine to Alaska.

Vote & Vax collaborated with, and was endorsed by, major national public health and public service organizations including AARP, American Public Health Association, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Association of Immunization Managers, Immunization Coalitions Technical Assistance Network, National Association of County and City Health Officials and Visiting Nurse Associations of America.

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