Weber Shandwick Recognized for Groundbreaking LGBT Partnership

At the 2018 Inclusion Awards, Weber Shandwick took home a record four prizes. Two of these – the Community Impact Award, and the Most Effective Targeted Campaign – recognized the agency’s groundbreaking partnership with the LA LGBT Center.

In LA, 87% of people with HIV are gay/bisexual men and transgender women, which is 17% higher than the national average, with African-Americans and Latinos accounting for 69% of new HIV infections and youth aged 13-24 accounting for 22% overall.

The LA LGBT Center engaged Weber Shandwick to incite action within the community to prevent HIV by promoting PrEP (HIV Prevention Treatment), driving prescriptions and overcoming stigma with the tagline “F*ck W/out Fear.” The campaign kicked off with a billboard in the heart of West Hollywood and immediately sparked controversy and debate within the community. Weber Shandwick and the LA LGBT Center partnered with LGBT designer Andrew Christian to create a “Fearless F*cker” t-shirt, sold at the flagship store in West Hollywood and distributed at events including a celebrity Oscar gifting suite. Proceeds covered transportation assistance to the Center for PrEP consultations for low-income patients.

To reach the House and Ball community, a niche group of gay/bisexual men and transgender women of color centered on dance and runway performance, Weber and the LA LGBT Center hosted the “Blue Ball” in partnership with BanjeeBall.

Additionally, the launch included a “Paint the Town Blue” event where partnering bars turned their lights blue (the color of the PrEPpill) and hosted PrEPeducators to capture contact information and encourage people to sign up for free PrEPconsultations at the Center. All campaign activity drove traffic to PrEPHere.org, which contained information about PrEP, a PrEPconsultation booking portal, and a “PrEPScore” risk assessment tool co-developed by the Center and UCLA researchers.

Additionally, Weber Shandwick ran a geo-targeted ad-campaign on major gay dating apps (Grindr, Scruff, Hornet and Jack’d) using original photography featuring men and transgender women of color in intimate settings.

Weber Shandwick created a “Fearless F*cker” persona on Grindr to connect users with PrEPNavigators from the Center to answer questions in real time. Those interested in starting PrEP were set up with a consultation at the Center. Campaign advertising also ran in multiple LGBT publications in both English and Spanish, as well as paid Google search, display ads and promoted social media posts.

Weber Shandwick’s campaign for the LA LGBT Center received over 195.5 million total media impressions, from over 147 total media placements hitting the campaign’s target audiences. The campaign led to over 700 total prescriptions during the first three months, exceeding the original goal by 1.5x, constituting a 95% increase in PrEP prescriptions among gay/bi Men of Color. PrEPHERE.org received over 25,000 page visits, leading to over 175 PrEP consults booked through the site.

The campaign has been widely recognized and honored -- it received the 2018 Sabre Award for Best in Consumer Healthcare, five PRSA-LA Prism Awards, including Best in Show and 2 Silver Anvil Awards for Multicultural and Health Care Services.

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