2017 Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation Winner: Cronkite PR Lab Amplifies Awareness for “Hooked Rx: From Prescription to Addiction”  

Reminder: The Bronze Anvil Entry Deadline is March 23rd!


Prescription opioid abuse is an increasingly critical health issue in the U.S., and specifically in Arizona, which ranks 12th in the nation for drug overdoses. As a result, Arizona is fighting this crisis with full force. 

Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Arizona Broadcasters Association (ABA), recognized the need to increase awareness about this issue, and through the use of research and storytelling, created a documentary, “Hooked Rx: From Prescription to Addiction.” 

The film aired on every broadcast television station (30) and most (97) radio stations in Arizona on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, reaching over 1.1 million Arizonans. It could also be viewed online. 

Students in the Cronkite School’s PR Lab – in which they develop campaigns and strategies for real clients in an agency environment – were tasked with branding and promoting the documentary. They were given creative control over campaign development and implementation, but…no budget! 

So, the team needed to develop tactics that would help the school reach its goal of 1 million viewers that leveraged free or low-cost tools. After extensive research, the team decided that a Thunderclap campaign would provide the biggest “bang” for no “bucks.”  

Thunderclap Homepage photo (1)Thunderclap is a free crowd-speaking platform that allows a single message to be spread across Facebook, Twitter and/or Tumblr simultaneously. It leverages the strength of influencer marketing to create a splash across participants’ social networks. 

The team created a Thunderclap on Dec. 2, 2016 with the message “I will watch ‘Hooked Rx: From Prescription to Addiction’ on Jan. 10 to educate myself about dangers of opioid abuse.” Participants were able to modify their message to reflect their own thoughts on the topic. The purpose of the message was to create awareness of the documentary and to remind people to tune in through TV or radio. 

Thunderclap requires participants to provide access to their social media accounts to the platform, so the team knew that targeting truly engaged accounts by influencers in Arizona would be most effective. Instead of focusing on getting a large number of participants, the team attempted to secure support from key social influencers early in the campaign. 

They made personal requests to influencers in the Phoenix area via phone and email, specifically reaching out to the following influencers to ask for their support:

  • ASU’s main Twitter account (224,540 Twitter followers)
  • Local NBC affiliate 12 News (158,862 Twitter followers)
  • Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (25,800 Twitter followers).

In addition, the Cronkite School’s Twitter and Facebook accounts participated in the Thunderclap with their significant reach (24,206 Twitter followers; 10,500 Facebook followers). The team identified 100 unique accounts signed up for Thunderclap. 

The team not only exceeded their goal in number of participants and in social reach. The message was shared across all participating social accounts on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 5 p.m., 90 minutes prior to the documentary airing. The social reach of the 124 accounts participating in the Thunderclap campaign was more than half a million people. As a result, nearly 1 million people watched the documentary live at 6:30 p.m.!

For more information, click here: http://bit.ly/2018anvils.