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DC Department of Health Recognized with Bronze Anvil Award by Leading Public Relations Firm

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
DOH's Rubber Revolution campaign to promote condom use scores big.

(Washington, DC) - The DC Department of Health (DOH) and public relations firm, Octane LLC received a coveted 2011 Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) for superior performance in the design and execution of an individual public relations tactic within a broader public relations campaign. Winners of the award were recognized during the 2011 PRSA Awards Evening held June 9, in New York.

DOH and Octane LLC, received a 2011 Bronze Anvil Award for the Transforming the Condom Conversation campaign. With the high rates of HIV and STDs in the District, the Department developed the Rubber Revolution campaign to promote condom use.  The campaign features a web site, text messaging, ads on radio, newspapers, Metro and the Internet and educational materials.  The Rubber Revolution media partner is WPGC Radio and radio/TV personality Big Tigger who has served as the first ambassador to encourage condom use and safe sex. 

"The District of Columbia is very proud of this award for the Rubber Revolution campaign. DC is one of only a handful of cities in the country with a public sector condom distribution program," said DOH Director, Dr. Mohammad Akhter. "We are providing more than 4 million free condoms every year, and we are pleased that the Rubber Revolution campaign is changing the conversation about condoms and engaging community and business partners to support prevention."

DOH developed the campaign based on studies that showed between 40% and 70% of all DC adults and adolescents are not regularly using condoms.  The Department conducted focus groups and reviewed other campaigns to learn the major reasons why people do not use condoms: condom sizes are too small and uncomfortable; they interrupt the mood; and they express trust for their partner even if they just met them.  The campaign features messages to address these barriers – "Life is More Comfortable with a Condom", "Big Enuf 4 U", "Get Wrapped up in the Moment" and "A Condom Fits Any Head" – and reduce the stigma associated with condoms.

"What a pleasure to award the DC Department of Health and Octane LLC with the PRSA Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation in recognition of its tactical excellence in public relations," said PRSA Chair and CEO Rosanna M. Fiske, APR. "The best practices in public relations tactics deliver value to the organizations we represent and the communities they serve."

The Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation was created by PRSA in 1969 to recognize outstanding public relations tactics — the individual items or components that contribute to the success of an overall program or campaign. Awards of Commendation are possible in 65 categories and subcategories, including Media Relations, Newsletters, Web Sites, Feature Stories, Press/Media kits, Podcasts, Word-of-Mouth and Blogs.

Entries are judged by teams of PRSA members — and others who have specific category expertise — across the country. Up to two Bronze Anvil Awards of Commendation may be earned in each category or subcategory.  The Rubber Revolution was one of 82 awarded from 717 entries.