Maryland Zoo and Weber Shandwick Baltimore win “Best in Maryland Award”

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore with Weber Shandwick Baltimore received the Public Relations Society of America, Maryland Chapter (PRSA MD) “Best in Maryland” award for social media and viral marketing for the campaign, “Our Zoo is More Fun than Your Zoo.”

“Weber Shandwick helped to bring our marketing campaign to another level through social platform integration and viral outreach. We have noticed a significant increase in support, interest and visibility for The Maryland Zoo,” said Terry Young, executive vice president. “Being honored with PRSA’s ‘Best in Maryland’ award is a great accomplishment for us.”

The “Our Zoo is More Fun than Your Zoo” campaign merged traditional print media with online media and social networks to create a recognizable personality for the Zoo and enable consistent and ongoing dialogue with a larger audience. Traditional print media was used to drive audience members to the Zoo’s social platforms on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, working to enhance the new personality for The Maryland Zoo and reinforce that the Zoo is a vibrant and flourishing destination for the whole family to enjoy.

“Web hits, Facebook comments and Zoo attendance are continuing to increase, and we credit that to our new communications strategy,” said Jane Ballentine, director of PR and marketing at the Maryland Zoo. “We reinvigorated our traditional media efforts, combining them with the new social strategy allowing us to stay connected and engaged with a greater audience. This strategy has done wonders for us over the past year, even during the ‘twin blizzards’ when we lost both of our aviaries due to the snow.”

The Zoo’s new energized persona and utilization of social media platforms resulted in attendance increases by more than 5,000 visitors, membership increases by over $50,000 and significant awareness and visibility increases in the first nine months of the campaign — in addition to 100 percent positive feedback online.

The award was announced at the annual PRSA Chesapeake Conference in June. The PRSA “Best in Maryland” awards are modeled after the prestigious national PRSA Silver and Bronze Anvil awards, which recognize outstanding public relations programs and tactics.

About The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
Founded in 1876, The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is the third oldest zoo in the United States and is internationally known for its contributions in conservation and research. More than 1,500 animals are represented in the Zoo’s varied natural habitat exhibits in areas such as Polar Bear Watch, the Maryland Wilderness, African Journey and the award-winning Children’s Zoo. Situated in Druid Hill Park near downtown Baltimore, the Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.

About Weber Shandwick
Weber Shandwick
is a leading global public relations agency with offices in 76 countries around the world. The firm’s success is built on its deep commitment to client service, its people, creativity, collaboration, and harnessing the power of Advocates – engaging stakeholders in new and creative ways to build brands and reputation. Weber Shandwick provides strategy and execution across practices such as consumer marketing, healthcare, technology, public affairs, financial services, corporate communications and crisis management. Its specialized services include digital/social media, advocacy advertising, market research, and corporate responsibility. In 2009, Weber Shandwick was recognized as PRWeek’s inaugural Global Agency Report Card Gold Medal Winner, an ‘Agency of the Decade’ by Advertising Age, Global Agency of the Year by The Holmes Report, and International Consultancy of the Year by PRWeek UK. The firm also has won numerous ‘best place to work’ awards around the world including PR News and The Holmes Report. Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG).

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