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Campaign highlighting county leadership during COVID-19 receives honor

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Mon, Dec 7th 2020 10:20 am

The New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) was honored with an award for the “NY Counties Lead” campaign, which highlighted the county response during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign won the 2020 Capital Region MARCOM Award for demonstrating how county officials across the state are instrumental in responding to the public health, social and economic crisis brought on by the novel coronavirus.

NYSAC also earned recognition for its “Special Bulletin” nightly e-newsletter that provided daily updates, information and best practices during the first two months of the COVID-19 response. The “Special Bulletin” was a finalist in the Best Digital Media Campaign category.

The awards were presented in November at a virtual awards ceremony featuring video presentations of all the finalists. Watch video clips of NYSAC’s “NY Counties Lead” entry here and the “Special Bulletin” here.

“When the first wave of COVID-19 swept across New York state, we saw county leaders and county workers step up and lead the local response,” said Jack Marren, NYSAC president and Ontario County chairman. “This campaign was designed and executed to tell our story and show the state and the nation the incredible work we are doing and why it is so important that they have the resources needed to continue fighting the virus and provide the essential services our communities rely on during these challenging times.”

“With the ‘NY Counties Lead’ campaign, we wanted to share the stories of county leadership that we were witnessing every day, with the public and with our state and federal leaders,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario. “Whether it was setting up mobile testing labs, organizing contact tracing, monitoring and enforcing quarantines, or securing testing supplies and PPE for local first responders, our counties were the front lines of the response to this pandemic. I’m incredibly proud of the work our team did to highlight and raise awareness of the heroic work New York’s counties did in response to the first wave, and the work they continue to do in response to this latest surge.”

The “NY Counties Lead” campaign won the Public/Government Affairs category for campaigns specifically designed to influence public policy and/or affect legislation, regulations, political activities or candidates. The primary objective of the campaign was to promote the work that counties do on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and build a public support for direct federal aid to counties.

To help tell these stories, the campaign created numerous assets including:

√ Two PSA videos promoting county leadership during the pandemic: “All on the Line,” produced by Summers Strategies on behalf of NYSAC, and “NY Counties Lead” produced in-house;

√ Weekly Zoom press conferences featuring county leaders and members of congress to highlight county response and reopening efforts and call for federal aid;

√ The NY Counties Lead Timeline in the NYSAC News Magazine, and

√ The 16 Ways Counties Lead Through COVID-19” factsheet.

The NYSAC “Special Bulletin” was a finalist in the Digital Media category for campaigns used to market and promote a product, service, business or event strictly online, using digital advertising, social media, video or other forms of digital communications.

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