Contact: Sierra Wallace
Public Engagement Manager
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Orleans Parish Communication District’s
Hurricane Ida Crisis Communication Campaign & COVID-19 Vaccine Promotion Campaign Selected for
Ragan’s 2021 Crisis Communications Awards
NEW ORLEANS, LA (July 20, 2022) – The Orleans Parish Communication District (OPCD) is proud to announce that its Public Engagement team has been selected to win the Ragan’s 2021 Crisis Communications (Non-Profit Organization) Award for OPCD’s Hurricane Ida Crisis Communications Campaign regarding Hurricane Ida and NOLA-311’s COVID-19 Vaccine Promotion Campaign.
On June 30th, Ragan Communications, Inc, announced the winners of its Ragan’s 2021 Crisis Communications Awards honoring the best public relations companies, organizations and teams that created effective campaigns, and were influential in delivering important messaging and powerful communications during the COVID-19 pandemic. This marks the second year that Ragan has included a Crisis Communications award to their list of globally competitive public relations awards, for which OPCD has won consecutively.
“I would like to congratulate the Orleans Parish Communications District on receiving these prestigious recognitions,” said Mayor Latoya Cantrell. “These honors demonstrate our innovative and intentional approach to protecting and serving our residents, especially in the wake of any crisis we have faced as a community. Each of these award-winning campaigns epitomize my administration’s charge to meet our people where they are by effectively communicating and providing the most vital information and resources to our most vulnerable population. We are thrilled to receive this recognition, and as we look ahead and prepare for yet another above-average hurricane season in the midst of a pandemic, we remain laser-focused and determined to continue delivering results that will keep our people safe.”
The OPCD public engagement team, comprised of the Director of Communications & Government Affairs, Marcus Creel, Public Engagement Manager, Chelsea Porché, and Public Engagement Specialist, Sierra Wallace, have been tenacious in their efforts to provide New Orleans residents with public safety and city services information relating to New Orleans 9-1-1 and NOLA-311. Their goal of informing the public is demonstrated during pivotal moments such as Hurricane Ida and the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“The impact of our Public Engagement team does not go unrecognized ,” stated OPCD Executive Director, Tyrell Morris. “I am ecstatic to see that once again the hardwork that this team puts forward is being recognized by such a well-known and respected organization like Ragan Communications.”
“The Public Engagement team continuously demonstrates their commitment to ensuring New Orleans residents and visitors are as informed as possible when it comes public safety and city services, while also promoting the tireless work being done by our Heroes Under the Headset,” continued Morris. “I am so proud to see the efforts of the Public Engagement team acknowledged globally and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the largest organizations in the country.”
The award-winning OPCD Hurricane Ida Crisis Communications Campaign utilized a crisis communications campaign in real time, addressing all audiences—most specifically the residents of New Orleans. The OPCD team implemented a 24-hour media monitoring effort, tracking discussions around the needs of New Orleans residents through social media and traditional media, both manually and through media monitoring software. OPCD used social media channels to deliver image- and graphic-oriented tactics with quick-hit informational messaging, helping target audiences digest and share messages easily. The graphics centered around four main topics: Informing the public that emergency communications services were down; how to reach first responders in the event of an emergency; how to remain safe in the damage-stricken city during and after the storm, and what services were available and how to access them.
The NOLA-311 award winning COVID -19 Vaccine Promotion Campaign utilized a 24-hour media monitoring program to track calls and digital requests to NOLA-311 for vaccine information, both to dispel misunderstandings and misinformation and to identify the potential needs of the target audience. The strategy helped the team gather direct information on what people understood about the vaccine, their pain points and what information and services they required. The team then used its social media channels to deliver images and graphics with quick-hit informational messaging that people could easily digest and share. These graphics centered around three main topics: How residents could schedule a vaccine appointment; how homebound or transportation-limited residents could get the vaccine; and how residents could protect their communities and return to a normal life.
“Orleans Parish Communication District set themselves apart from an impressive field of entrants,” said Brendan Gannon, Marketing Manager for Awards Programs at Ragan Communications and PR Daily. “Their work was exceptional and displayed their innovative strategies for achieving success. Congratulations, Orleans Parish Communication District. We look forward to your continued success.
Other award winners for the Ragan’s Crisis Communications Awards include Carnival Cruise Line, Entergy, Johnson & Johnson with Gagen MacDonald, Miami International Airport, Subway & Current Global, Twitter, and Walgreens and Agency Partner, The Pharm WPP.
About Orleans Parish Communications District (www.opcdla.gov)
Formed in 1982, the Orleans Parish Communication District is the public safety answering point (PSAP) for all emergency communications via 9-1-1 within Orleans Parish. The agency employs over 140 individuals and provides emergency medical dispatch, emergency fire dispatch, and emergency police dispatch for the millions of annual visitors and residents of the City of New Orleans. OPCD is a member of the Association of Public Safety Communication Officials (APCO) and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA). The Mission of OPCD is to Get the Right People to the Right Place at the Right Time, Better than Anybody Else in the World.
About Ragan Communications (https://www.ragan.com)
For more than five decades, Lawrence Ragan Communications, Inc., has been a leader in training for professionals in corporate communications, public relations, social media and management. Ever since the launch of “The Ragan Report” in 1970, Ragan has provided communicators and executives with timely, practical and relevant information that few others can match. Ragan is rooted in helping the communications professional advance in their careers while also improving the voice of the organizations they serve. The Ragan brand includes highly curated live and virtual events, three leadership Councils, multiple websites, an awards division, a consulting arm and targeted newsletters. Ragan live events draw more than 3,000 professionals annually and provide attendees with access to leading communicators, best practices and rich networking opportunities.