Situation: With influenza season bearing down and a shortage of flu vaccine making headlines in fall of 2004, CHI Health Good Samaritan (formerly Good Samaritan Hospital), located in Kearney, Nebraska, wanted to inform the public in central Nebraska of the importance of proper hand washing to help prevent the spread of bacterial and viral infections.

Give Health a HandStrategy & tactics: Hanser & Associates created and implemented the “Give Health a Hand” public relations campaign. Through print, radio, TV and online news coverage and area hand-washing demonstration events, the firm secured media placements throughout central Nebraska that resulted in more than 95,000 media impressions — nearly three per household — about the importance of frequent hand washing. Omaha-based Redstone worked alongside Hanser & Associates to create the campaign’s integrated advertising and interactive tactics.

Results: CHI Health Good Samaritan reported that influenza numbers were down during the 2004-2005 flu season, and central Nebraska was one of the last areas in the United States to be struck by influenza. It was not a coincidence.

Public Relations Society of America in 2005 awarded Hanser & Associates the prestigious national Bronze Anvil award for the “Give Health a Hand” campaign. Considered the “Oscars” recognizing excellence in public relations tactics, the annual Bronze Anvil awards recognize the very best in PR tactics in North America.