There's nothing we
enjoy more than turning
a problem into an opportunity.
Our comprehensive social marketing campaign for Steps to a Healthier Salinas drove a six-percent increase in the number of citizens with
a healthy weight and a 12-percent improvement in moderate physical activity. Among Latinos, healthy weight increased by 12 percent and moderate physical activity by 21 percent. This successful campaign earned BMC two of the nation’s highest public relations honors,
the Public Relations Society of America’s Silver Anvil, for community relations and multicultural communications.
BMC created the “Value It” campaign and used various, and often unconventional, mediums to spread the message of taking steps
to healthier behaviors, including cultivating partnerships throughout the community (civic, media, restaurants, schools, etc.) and developing
a comprehensive portfolio of collateral material (stair graphics, community art, brochures, posters, newspaper inserts, TV and radio ads, and public service announcements) featuring local citizens engaging in healthy activities.
We combine passion, expertise, drive and an extensive network of relationships to positively shape public opinion and behaviors. Our strategic communications campaigns raise awareness, understanding and support for critical issues impacting the public’s well-being.
Take a look at the case studies below for a few examples of how we’ve delivered change that matters.
A growing body of science shows that sugary drinks play a unique
and dominant role in driving today’s skyrocketing diabetes and obesity rates, yet few consumers are aware of these risks. Through
an aggressive and multi-faceted statewide communications campaign, BMC leveraged emerging research to introduce this reality
to Californians and fundamentally reshape public perceptions around this issue. By generating overwhelming and sustained media attention, winning broad editorial support and reframing the discussion around consumers’ right to know, the campaign created a favorable environment for innovative, first-in-the-nation policies to protect consumers from the health consequences of consuming sugary drinks.
This successful campaign earned BMC the nation’s highest public relations honors, the Public Relations Society of America’s Silver Anvil, for public service campaign.
CASE STUDY: Serving Up the Bitter Truth About Sugary Drinks
CASE STUDY: Turning the Tables - Winning Support for the Nation's First Statewide Menu Labeling Law
Two of the most effective campaign elements were a fast food nutrition quiz testing consumers’ knowledge of the nutritional value of common fast food items and a YouTube video poking fun at the fast food industry’s brochure legislation by showing consumers hopelessly trying to find information in their complex fast food brochures. Both were instrumental in proving to legislators and the public the futility
of common sense when making food choices. Constant and widespread media coverage throughout the state and nation persuaded California legislators to be the first state to pass the landmark menu-labeling legislation and the governor to reverse his previous position and embrace menu labeling as part of his “California health initiative.”
BMC earned a number of awards for the campaign, including the
2009 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Silver Anvil Award
of Excellence for best public affairs campaign, 2008 Northern California PRSA Bronze Anvil for best social media program and
the 2007 Northern California PRSA Bronze Anvil for best press kit.
CASE STUDY: Creating an Identity to Rally Winegrape Growers Around
The California Department of Food and Agriculture created the Pierce’s Disease/Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Board to fund and direct research for winegrape growers to find a solution to one of the most serious threats ever to face the industry. While millions of dollars was raised for research over the next few years, grower apathy, confusion and support of the program rapidly faded and was in serious jeopardy of losing
a grower vote for continuance.
Thanks to an aggressive branding and identity program by BMC aimed at reintroducing the program to growers, including its successes and importance, grower attitudes dramatically shifted. The program won reauthorization by a wide margin of nine to one and earned BMC the nation’s highest public relations honor, the Public Relations Society
of American’s Silver Anvil for reputation and brand management.
CASE STUDY: Building Trust and Support in the Midst of a Pandemic Response
In addition to a health crisis, COVID-19 created a communications crisis for Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS). Despite the unprecedented challenges presented, the pandemic prompted a comprehensive, far-reaching communications program that significantly enhanced community trust for the county health department, while advancing the department’s reputation with the diverse, multicultural communities it serves. Transparent communications, active community engagement and strategic deployment of carefully tailored communication tactics allowed CCHS to lead the county through this crisis, promote adoption of healthier behaviors and ultimately establish a foundation of trust for the health and prevention messages that protected the community.
The campaign earned BMC the Award of Excellence for crisis communications from the Public Relations Society of America.
CASE STUDY: Changing Behaviors and Local Policy for a Healthier Community
Solano County Public Health aims to build a healthier community by influencing individual behavior, educating policymakers about chronic disease prevention strategies, and organizing community members to spark grassroots change. Over the past three years, BMC has led multiple multilingual campaigns addressing tobacco, cannabis, alcohol and opioid prevention that have collectively reached every resident of Solano County, earning tens of millions of earned and paid impressions.
BMC conducted audience and issue research, coordinated community stakeholders and spokespersons, developed comprehensive communications strategies and managed advertising and media advocacy campaigns from start to finish. All campaigns featured a diverse paid media strategy that included print, digital display, broadcast/cable television, broadcast/digital radio, OTT video and paid social media, accompanied by earned news stories, op-eds and letters-to-the-editor.
As a result of these efforts, the City of Benicia was inspired to pass the first comprehensive tobacco ordinance in the county. Various cities have begun developing local policies that address secondhand smoking, vaping and flavored tobacco. Community coalition members have also stepped up their involvement, leading to policy, systems and behavior changes in multiple Solano County communities.
CASE STUDY: Multicultural Approaches to Improving Access to CalFresh
California Department of Social Services’ State Nutrition Action Council (SNAC), a component of CalFresh Healthy Living, brings together a network of state departments, agencies and nonprofits to coordinate efforts to promote healthy eating and active living amongst CalFresh participants.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, SNAC partnered with BMC to develop a multilingual social media messaging campaign to promote California’s Pandemic EBT program, encourage low-income populations to access food programs and ensure food security. BMC developed culturally appropriate messages and designs in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese and partnered with local agencies to adapt creative for each community, putting a local face to a large state bureaucracy. The campaign successfully reached nearly a dozen communities across California.
BMC also partnered with SNAC to launch its Farmers Market Initiative, promoting farmers markets to CalFresh participants, informing them of CalFresh’s farmers market benefits, WIC‘s participation in the program and the availability of senior vouchers. BMC developed a complete suite of bilingual marketing materials—brochures, flyers, posters, postcards and an implementation guide—all tailored to each participating community, from the Central Coast to the Central Valley. As a result, local farmers market organizers were able to significantly increase usage of these programs, bringing fresh produce to a new batch of Californians.
CASE STUDY: Using Media Advocacy to Garner Public Support & Drive Policymakers to Action
BMC and Public Health Advocates wanted to call the public's attention to the shameful lack of PE programs in public schools and to persuade Governor Schwarzenegger and legislators to approve pending legislation allocating $30 million for school PE. BMC launched a coordinated media advocacy campaign, and in light of widespread local and statewide media attention, the governor increased the proposed allocation
to $40 million and included a $500 million block grant to support quality PE, arts and music programs in his 2006-2007 budget.
The program earned BMC the 2006 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Silver Anvil Award of Excellence for best public affairs program, the 2006 Northern California PRSA Silver Anvil for best non-profit campaign and the 2006 Northern California PRSA Bronze Anvil for best media relations.
CASE STUDY: Building Grassroots Partnerships to Grow Policy From the Ground Up
BMC has proven experience building professional and non-traditional partnerships, and bringing these diverse groups of people together with policymakers to change the health of California. Working with the California Department of Public Health, the agency provided the technical assistance, ongoing counsel, strategic planning, facilitation and finesse
to form and activate 11 regional collaboratives throughout the state. These collaboratives are comprised of several thousand health and nutrition professionals, grassroots advocates, community leaders, policymakers and media. As part of their counsel, BMC raises public awareness for health issues, trains collaborative members to develop compelling messages, creates and designs materials that resonate with the media and other wide-ranging audiences, and empowers youth
to fight for healthier neighborhoods.
With California legislators wholly consumed with balancing a dire budget deficit, teen pregnancy prevention advocates hoped a study showing teen birth rates by legislative districts would keep legislators from cutting essential funding. We advised researchers to include one further statistic –- the fiscal cost of teen pregnancies. By reframing the issue, legislators now saw that funding teen pregnancy prevention programs was far more fiscally sensible than paying for the huge cost
of teen pregnancies in their region.
Not only did the release of the study garner significant and sustained coverage (over 10 million media impressions), the flurry of media and advocacy activity prompted legislators to make comprehensive sex education programs untouchable during the budgeting process. In total, advocates claim the study’s release safeguarded more than $28 million for prevention programs in a year when every other state program was sliced. The program earned BMC the 2003 Northern California Public Relations Society of America Compass Award for media relations.
CASE STUDY: Reframing a Public Health Issue to Save Teen Pregnancy Prevention Funding
CASE STUDY: Selling a Tough Issue With a Light Touch
With a rapidly growing senior population and Californians woefully unprepared for the realities of long-term care, the number of families impoverished because of long-term care and the burden on the state
are growing at an alarming level. We implemented a targeted and
cost-effective campaign for the California Partnership for Long-Term Care to educate Californians on how to properly plan for this reality, which included: partnerships with local certified agents, partnerships with local governments, radio advertising, outdoor advertising,
consumer educational seminars, media outreach, educational materials, website with interactive tools and social media engagement.
The program earned BMC numerous awards, including the
2011 National Health Information Merit Award -- brochure, the
2007 Northern California Public Relations Society of American (PRSA)
Silver Anvil for best marketing program, the 2006 National Public Health Information Coalition Gold Award for Excellence for new media and the 2003 Northern California PRSA Compass Merit Award -- brochure.
CASE STUDY: Rethink Your Drink
BMC developed the statewide Rethink Your Drink outreach and education campaign for the California Department of Public Health
and guided regional health collaboratives in adopting the campaign
at the local level. The campaign sought to reduce sugary drink consumption by educating Californians through nutrition-education materials and media stories, community partnerships and local environmental changes aimed at improving access, affordability
and desirability of healthier beverages.
BMC created the campaign plan, conducted research to inform the campaign activities and messaging, developed campaign messages and media speaking points, orchestrated photo shoots and developed the Rethink Your Drink brand. Compelling nutrition education materials were created, including a consumer and partner website, nutrition education fact sheets, fliers and posters. BMC also provided technical assistance to regional health collaboratives as they launched local campaigns to raise awareness of nutrition issues and advocate for environmental changes. BMC held spokespersons trainings, adapted and developed campaign material as needed, and helped plan, coordinate and host local launch events.
CASE STUDY: A Powerful Approach to Healthier Communities
The Champion Provider Fellowship (CPF) harnesses the passion of healthcare providers to improve the health of their communities beyond the clinic setting. BMC partnered with The California Department of Public Health, UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations and the Public Health Institute to launch the program to empower, train and support healthcare providers to use their expertise and respected voices to improve the health of communities through local policy, systems and environmental changes.
BMC provides in-person and virtual trainings, communications counsel and technical assistance for health care providers and links the providers with local health departments and other community stakeholders. In addition, BMC creates communications tools for the CPF, including fact sheets, success stories, banners and the Policy, Systems and Environmental Change Playbook.
Facing declining public interest and use, Contra Costa County Library worked with BMC to research and develop a strategic approach
to better serving the community. The research highlighted the role libraries can play in collecting and preserving local history,
as well as promoting military veterans’ access to education, employment and health resources.
WAR INK was born as a way to collect and share local veterans’ stories while advancing public understanding of the challenges veterans face reintegrating into society. The powerful virtual exhibit showcases veterans’ stories through original video, photography and audio interviews, using the veterans’ hauntingly beautiful memorial tattoos
as a springboard for intimate conversation and connection. In addition to developing a full media strategy, BMC helped develop the exhibit, trained spokespersons, planned and coordinated an outreach campaign, including a multi-media launch event, and coordinated print, TV and radio interviews. The story went national, featured by over
140 media outlets including, NPR, BBC, Newsweek, USA Today,
The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, as well
as art magazines and military media outlets. More importantly,
WAR INK presented a new face to the library system, a place as much for the community as for books.
CASE STUDY: Veterans’ WAR INK Invites Conversation and Connection
CASE STUDY: California Thursdays Revolutionizes School Food
California’s school food program has traditionally relied on pre-packaged, unhealthy food shipped in from all across the country.
In order to change the status quo, the Center for Ecoliteracy partnered with BMC to transform this entrenched, centralized food system into one that prioritizes locally sourced, freshly cooked food. The California Thursdays campaign brings delicious, California-grown food with signature recipes to lunchrooms in nearly 3,000 schools, serving over 1.5 million students across 58 school districts.
BMC mobilized the districts' communications staff, trained local spokespersons, pitched the media, placed advertisements and coordinated special events in a remarkably successful effort to inform hundreds of thousands of parents, students and stakeholders about the benefits – and good taste – of California Thursdays. Our efforts earned coverage in nearly every print and television newsroom in the state.
The California Thursdays Network, which includes Los Angeles,
San Francisco, Sacramento and San Diego Unified School Districts, continues to demonstrate that making school meals fresh and local
can have a big impact on California’s children and economy.