Last week, THG had the honor of attending PRSA-NCC’s 49th annual Thoth Awards, as our earned media campaign with The Ellie Challenge was chosen as a finalist for a Thoth Award in the Pro Bono Public Relations category.
Amongst stiff competition for pro bono work for other great causes, The Herald Group was proud to be honored with an “Award of Excellence” for the campaign. This was really a cherry on top for the team – after more than three years of working with A Cure for Ellie to bring awareness to—and find a cure for—a rare disease called Leukoencephalopathy with Brain Stem and Spinal Cord Involvement and Lactate Elevation (LBSL).
That’s a long name, right? Especially when you’re a young girl like Ellie McGinn.
This is where “The Ellie Challenge” came in. The social media challenge invited people to attempt to correctly state the name of her disease for a chance to rename it. After many entries, Ellie picked a winner – “The Awesome Disease” – so that other children diagnosed wouldn’t feel scared or different.
Notable individuals, including Senator Cornyn, Senator Daines, and Senator Tillis, participated in the campaign, and we secured coverage on the Today Show, plus in other notable outlets like The Hill and ABC News. Not only did it bring more awareness to Ellie’s disease, but it also ultimately helped raise $25,000 towards the research at Kennedy Krieger Institute for finding a cure for LBSL.
We’re proud of our work with A Cure for Ellie and will continue to help her in her fight against The Awesome Disease. Now, the PRSA’s “Award for Excellence” can serve as a reminder for why we do the things we do as communications professionals.