Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood (UHPP) representatives flew to Portland, Oregon in late March to receive a national award for affiliate excellence in advertising and marketing from Planned Parenthood Federation of American at the national organizations' annual conference.
The award specifically recognized UHPP's 2011 "Thank you Planned Parenthood" videos and viral branding campaign featuring patient testimonials. The campaign rolled out a series of compelling testimonials from current and former patients over a six week period in the fall of 2011. Each patient told their own story-of how Planned Parenthood had provided compassionate, confidential and affordable services including birth control, sex education or information on pregnancy options; of how professional staff had detected early signs of breast cancer and diabetes, and facilitated referrals to critical, life-saving treatment.
Each video was uploaded to You Tube and then promoted by UHPP staff and supporters through messages and links on email and Facebook, accumulating 2,000 views in three months. The campaign was supported with print ads and a tv spot featuring combined excerpts from each patient story.
"This was a thrilling campaign to watch unfold," said UHPP President/CEO Patricia McGeown. "First, our own UHPP Board of Directors made the bold decision in difficult economic times to allocate extra marketing dollars to both promote our new health center and simultaneously respond to the national attacks on Planned Parenthood. Then, we were overwhelmed by the number of current and former patients who came forward to share their stories. Finally, the stories our patients told were so compelling. Each story underlined the critical importance of the services we provide-and how access to those services changes lives for the better. The award from PPFA is greatly appreciated, but the appreciation communicated by our patients through these videos was a great reward unto itself".
The branding campaign proved to be a success with patient visits at the new UHPP Albany health center increasing to about eight percent compared with the previous year.
Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood is a community-based non-profit organization providing advocacy, education and reproductive health care services in the capital region since 1934. Our service area includes Albany, Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer Counties. In 2011, the agency provided health care services to 15,635 men, women and youth who made over 22,000 visits to our health centers located in Albany, Troy and Hudson. Health services provided include GYN exams, breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control information and supplies including Emergency Contraception, pregnancy testing and options counseling, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, HIV testing and counseling, the HPV vaccine, first trimester abortions, and prenatal and adoption referrals. Sixty-six percent of UHPP patient have incomes at or below the federal poverty level. UHPP community educators also provided 652 programs to 5,000 participants.