Health Case Histories

In the four decades we have been in business, we have handled dozens of national health-related PSA campaigns on subjects such as multiple sclerosis, drug-abuse, obesity, skin care, fertility, lung issues, speech & hearing problems, organ sharing and many more. In total we have distributed 34 national health related PSA campaigns including 11 campaigns for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Following are highlights of some of these campaigns:


The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons retained Goodwill Communications to distribute and evaluate a variety of national multi-media PSA campaigns encouraging Americans to adopt a more active lifestyle.

Like many other campaigns we have distributed, these campaigns had a dual audience – children and teens, as well as adult influencers – coaches, parents, physicians.

The first TV PSA Sedentary campaign we distributed for AAOS encouraged kids to “get out and get moving”. In humorous scenes, the PSA shows the creative avoidance of physical exertion by a pre-teen boy. You can see the PSA at:

On-Line Initiatives

One of the more unique – and non- PSA tactics – we pursued was to produce a custom Facebook application aimed at youth and teens. On the site we created characters that look like bones, knowing that young people like to
share their lifestyles with friends.

Site visitors could select an activity, and once they have completed the activity, they got so many points for their workouts. These could be shared with others, used as part of weight loss contests, or to just keep an on-line record of workouts.

In terms of national media promotion, our media outreach specialist personally called nearly 200 national networks to pitch each of the PSA campaigns to them. We created a custom newsletter shown here to accompany TV PSAs distributed to broadcast media and distributed a press release via PR Web that permitted recipients to view the PSAs.

Outdoor PSAs

As part of the media mix, we placed outdoor billboard posters in airports, transit stops, shopping malls, on and inside busses, and subway cars. In total, we distributed 13 different national PSA campaigns addressing the issue of sedentary lifestyles, generating $80.3 million in value.


We worked with the Bright Focus Foundation for many years, distributing PSAs pertaining to eye health, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and stem cell research. For one of these campaigns, we selected a talented producer to create the PSAs in addition to our role as the distributor.

His approach was to use various scenarios that we all hope to see, including our best friends, famous landmarks, or a family marriage. The theme for the campaign was “What Would You Like to See?” The call to action was to get regular eye exams to diagnose vision problems before they got worse and perhaps untreatable.


As we do with most of our TV PSA campaigns, we created a custom newsletter that was sent to over 1,200 broadcast TV outlets and 200 national networks.

To further diversify our media mix, we added cable distribution to our plan, targeting 500 cable stations as part of our CablePAK compilation service, which added just over $4 million to our total values. Finally, we added 5,000 radio stations to our distribution plan targeting stations that had used our client PSAs previously.


This graph shows the PSA values resulting from the campaign where we hand-picked the producer, as compared to the average values of the previous producer. The producer we recommended also created TV and radio PSAs in both English and Spanish at a significantly lower cost, which greatly increased the overall cost-benefit return.


With more than 500,000 premature infants born each year in our country – or one out of 8 new births – this major medical problem is having a serious impact upon our health care delivery system. It adversely affects the parents of the newborn, employers who often shoulder much of the cost, and on society as a whole.

The March of Dimes (MOD) has been a leader in the fight to address premature births and created a national radio PSA campaign to help reduce the rate of premature births from 12.1 percent to 7.6percent. To launch this important campaign, MOD turned to Goodwill Communications, which has distributed hundreds of national radio PSA campaigns.

Personal Messages

MOD´s national staff created compelling radio messages that would resonate with its primary audiences for the campaign – moms, dads, African American and Hispanic parents. PSAs were produced for each of these audiences which told poignant stories about how premature births affected their families and the help they received from March of Dimes.


Two other tactics were employed to engage radio stations – an aggressive promotional effort and the endorsement of Clear Channel Communications as a campaign partner.

To help spread the word about the campaign, Goodwill Communications created a special EmailGram that had the radio PSAs embedded in it as a live link, permitting recipients to listen to the spots in real time. We then compiled a list of minority websites and sent the Mailgram via email to those reaching mothers, fathers, African American and Spanish audiences. We also obtained an endorsement of the campaign from Clear Channel Communications, one of the largest radio chains, with 1,000 stations across the country.

Chapter Liaison

For the Prematurity radio campaign, Goodwill Communications, created a custom website where chapters could go to access all types of information about the campaign, from distribution lists to evaluation reports.


In the past there was no way to track radio PSAs other than by “bounce-back” cards which do not always provide complete and accurate data. However, Goodwill Communications found a company that could electronically track MOD radio PSA usage in major markets. This monitoring, supplanted by bounce-back cards, provided significantly greater usage feedback than we normally could obtain.

Usage reports included key trends graphs showing exposure by market size, length and program formats to see exposure among primary target audiences. As shown by this benchmark graph, the MOD radio PSA generated more exposure than any other radio campaign Goodwill has distributed, surpassing the next most successful effort by 21%. It generated just under 70,000 airplays, 48MM Gross Impressions and nearly $2.8MM in value.


Every hour someone is newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. MS destroys connection, disrupts signals, divides minds from bodies, pulls us from our lives and away from each other. Therefore, it is only fitting that connection would be its greatest enemy.

To demonstrate the importance of connections, the Society’s launched a PSA campaign titled: “MS Kills Connection >< Connection Kills MS.” The campaign theme reflects the stark reality of what MS does, but more importantly, how the challenges of MS can be overcome by strengthening and growing external connections.

Goodwill Communications has worked with the MS Society since 1989, and for this campaign we employed all the latest tactics we have been developing for other clients in the past several years.

First, we began with an aggressive distribution plan targeting broadcast and cable TV, radio and print media. While the total quantity distributed was 7,500, the effective reach was just under 10,000 media outlets due to multiple station ownership in many markets requiring that we send only one PSA package.


We employed a variety of promotional activities largely centered on broadcast TV stations, because they typically provide from 70 to 80% of all PSA campaign values. First, we wrote a feature story on the Connections campaign for our proprietary newsletter, Broadcasters Cafe, which was inserted in all packages sent to stations and networks.

Next, we posted all the PSA files in digital format to our PSA Digital download platform, where stations can view and download broadcast quality digital files. We included a link to the download site in the MS newsletter story. The PSAs were also featured on the NAB download site called SpotCenter, and all NAB member stations received the PSAs via their closed-circuit distribution system.

We distributed the PSA to specialty medical and health media, and Accent Health used the PSA reaching a potential audience of nine million physicians, 14 million nurses, five million healthcare workers, 89,000 hospitals, and 16,000 universities and medical schools. It was also sent to CNN’s Waiting Room Network in 30,000 physician offices across the country.

Engaging Local Chapters

The MS Society is a chapter-driven organization, since that is where the real work to defeat MS is done. We developed custom software to match the zip code for each chapter with our distribution database permitting us to break out distribution and evaluation reports by local chapter. Public affairs specialists in each chapter used the distribution lists in their local outreach.


As with all our client campaigns, we provide comprehensive evaluation data that is refreshed weekly. The Connections campaign was used in 48 of the 50 states, in 397 cities, generating 81,339 airplays and $32.4 million in value.


Goodwill Communications was retained by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine to distribute a series of PSA messages to try to change the food choices of Americans, and youth in particular.

The first in the series was a PSA titled Dangerous which warned the public – and youth in particular – about childhood obesity and the health risks associated with it. The campaign included a radio PSA featuring the voice of actor Alec Baldwin.

PCRM continued the campaign challenging parents to get kids to eat healthy fruits and vegetables and steer clear of high-fat fast food via a humorous TV PSA in which doctors perform an intervention on a fast-food restaurant called “Chubby’s.” As part of the campaign, PCRM created a special Web site, and a toll-free number, 877- 685-KIDS. Parents can order a free copy of “Nutrition for Kids,” an 18-page booklet packed with delicious recipes and nutrition information.

PCRM expanded their campaign to include TV radio and print PSAs under the theme: Powerful Weapon as part of its Cancer Project, a non-profit organization that advances cancer prevention and survival through nutrition education and research. It provides cooking classes, books, video programs, fact sheets, brochures, and a special website.

Each of the TV PSAs were distributed to 1,000 local TV broadcast stations, and 200 national TV networks. The radio and print PSAs were packaged in colorful CD folders, distributed to 3,500 radio stations and 5,300 print media.

To continue the anti-cancer campaign, PCRM teamed up with Academy Award-winning actor Anthony Hopkins to create an important and thought-provoking PSA titled: “Technology,” which spotlights the power of a healthy diet to prevent and fight cancer. This campaign was followed by Powerful Weapon showing how a natural diet of fruits and vegetables can help fight cancer


The TV PSA campaigns alone that we distributed for PCRM generated $10,699,605 in ad equivalency value. The values would have been much higher had PCRM produced longer lengths for their campaigns which create more value.


Each September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) aunches a national public education campaign about the effectiveness of treatment for mental and substance use disorders as part its National Recovery Month.

The goal of this national observance is to educate Americans that substance use treatment can enable those with a mental or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.

Goodwill Communications was retained to launched the national PSA campaign titled: r is for Recovery and Voices for Recovery. They share the message of hope, deliver words of encouragement from individuals in recovery to those in need of help, and feature SAMHSA’s National Helpline.

The PSAs were distributed to over 1,200 local TV stations, nearly 200 cable networks, and approximately 8,000 radio stations.


We launched an aggressive media outreach effort to promote the Recovery campaign by:

  • Posting the TV PSAs to the National Association of Broadcasters’ Spot Center download site, as well as our own download site called PSA Digital, both of which were promoted to the media.
  • Using our outreach specialist to contact national TV networks to pitch the PSAs
  • Sending blast emails and hard copy direct mailers to the media to remind them of where they can download the PSAs

As we do with all our client campaigns the Recovery TV campaign was evaluated using both the Nielsen SpotTrac monitoring system and bounce-back cards for radio. The campaign generated just under 20,000 airplays in 32 states and 80 cities with a value of $2.2 million in airtime exposure.


Underage drinking continues to be a national public health issue in the U.S. especially among adolescents. Alcohol is the most widely used substance among America’s youth, contributing to the three leading causes of death among 12- to 20-year-olds: unintentional injury, homicide and suicide. Further, underage drinking has severe consequences, many of which parents may not be fully aware, such as injury or death from accidents; unwanted and unprotected sexual activity; academic problems; and drug use.

To address this important problem, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) retained Goodwill Communications to launch a national PSA campaign with the theme: “Talk. They Hear You.” Its goal is to reduce underage drinking among youth ages 9 to 15 by providing parents and caregivers with information and resources they need to address the issue of alcohol with their young children.

The multi-year campaign features a series of TV, radio, print and out-of-home PSAs in English and Spanish. The PSAs show parents “seizing the moment” to talk with their children about alcohol. By modeling behaviors through these PSAs, parents can see the many “natural” opportunities for initiating the conversation about alcohol with their children. Some of our campaign tasks included:

  • Serving on SAMHSA’s expert panel to develop campaign creative strategy and to select local campaign partners
  • Creating the distribution plan to target the campaign’s primary audiences
  • Developing an aggressive outreach and promotional plan to ensure maximum usage of campaign materials
  • Evaluating campaign impact

This graphic shows the typical number of media outlets targeted in each of the campaign waves:


As we do with most of our client campaigns, we used several tactics to ensure the media was aware of this most important issue, which included:

  • Writing a feature story on the campaign for our proprietary newsletter, Broadcasters Cafe, which was distributed to all TV stations
  • Conducting personal outreach to 200 national networks
  • Posting the PSA to our branded You Tube PSA site
  • Posting the PSAs to the National Association of Broadcasters’ Spot Center and our own PSA Digital download sites
  • Sending an online-press release to 30,000 online journalists via PR Web
  • Conducted a Webinar for SAMHSA national staff, their partners and stakeholders to explain the campaign distribution tactics and how to access online reports

Role of Outdoor

To reach parents and influencers, we deployed a strategic outdoor PSA effort, which resulted in posting outdoor messages in airports, shopping malls and throughout the Washington AreaMetro Transit Authority’s bus and subway system. Additionally, PSAs were shown on Walmart’s closed-circuit TV screens in 540 of their big-box stores, reaching 39 million monthly shoppers.


In terms of media values, the campaign has generated just under $60 million in verified advertising equivalency value as shown in the graph.


The National Institute on Aging, one of the 27 Institutes of the National Institutes of Health, leads a broad scientific effort to extend the healthy, active years of life. One of its missions is to communicate information about aging to the scientific community, health care providers, and the public.

To fulfill this mandate, the NIA retained Goodwill Communications to distribute a PSA to promote its elderly exercise guide. The centerpiece of the campaign was John Glenn, America’s first astronaut to orbit the earth.

After serving 24 years in the Senate, Glenn lifted off for a second space flight on October 29, 1998, on Space Shuttle Discovery to study the effects of space flight on the elderly. At age 77, Glenn became the oldest person ever to go into space. At the end of the TV spot, the public was encouraged to write for the free Exercise Guide.

TV PSAs were the primary method for promoting the Guide, and were distributed to 1,200 local TV stations, and 200 cable networks. The campaign generated 60,00 additional visits to the NIA website during the campaign, as well 35,000 phone calls to a dedicated 800 telephone line resulting in over 300,000 orders for the Guide

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