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    Special Projects, Programs, or Campaigns - Bronze

    special - unc autism research

    UNC Autism Research Center, #LightUNCBlue
    The Medical Foundation of North Carolina, Inc.

    February 2018, The Medical Foundation of North Carolina, Inc., University Development Office Marketing, and UNC Student Affairs partnered with the UNC Autism Research Center to create a campaign to raise awareness of the research center. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has long been one of the world’s premier autism research universities. Now, its expertise and leading research programs will fall under one virtual roof at the UNC Autism Research Center, a pan-university institute dedicated to interdisciplinary research on autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

    The awareness campaign, titled #LightUNCBlue, focused on:

    • Educating students, faculty, staff, and the general public
      on ASD and its long-term impact on individuals and families
      living with this disorder.
    • Raising awareness of the UNC Autism Research Center.
    • Engaging individuals online through the hashtag #LightUNCBlue.

    Over the course of the month-long campaign, the team reached out both in person and virtually to work with stakeholders and others to spread the word across campus and the community. The result was over 700,000 impressions through various methods: email, social media, earned media, and word of mouth. The goal of engaging 1,000 individuals through the use of the hashtag #LightUNCBlue was surpassed by 289%, resulting
    in 2,886 engaged constituents. The success of the campaign brought awareness to the UNC Autism Research Center and its potential to greatly enhance the quality of life of individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families, impacting outcomes across the lifespan.

    What was the most successful part of your campaign?

    We had great success with our outreach, surpassing all goals for impressions and engagement. The power of social and earned media was tremendous.

    What is one thing you learned from this experience?

    By pooling talents across campus, we surpassed all goals. A strong partnership between development, marketing, communications, and student groups led to our success.

    Kathy Valley, kathy_valley@med.unc.edu