The winners of Ragan's 2012 PR Daily Awards were announced September 13th at Washington, D.C.’s Newseum. EYEMG and Akron Children's won "Best Mobile Strategy and/or Campaign" for the Care4Kids app, and also received an honorable mention for "Best Website Launch" at www.akronchildrens.org/mobile
Andrea Joliet, APR, assistant director of Interactive Marketing and Public Relations, was responsible for its development, which was designed and developed by EyeMG, the hospital’s web development firm. Before the app was officially launched, a group of select users was given a Beta version to test and offer feedback. The Beta testing phase was for one month and included parents from the hospital’s Parent Advisory Council and several healthcare and marketing professionals.
The Care4Kids app continues to be promoted on the hospital website and in promotional pieces, including the hospital’s print consumer newsletter, Inside Children’s.The mobile version of the website (https://www.akronchildrens.org/mobile) launched in September 2011.
To date, 1,448 iPhone users have downloaded the app and 415 Android users. While there are only a small number of reviews, customer reviews of the app give it 5 stars. The launch of the app also generated significant media coverage and social media conversations among the hospital’s fans and followers. Media coverage included TV coverage in the Cleveland market and a feature story in the Akron Beacon Journal daily newspaper, which was picked up by national outlets, including USA Today. It was also mentioned in Ragan’s Health Care Communications. An analysis of the social media conversations showed the app launch resulted in 69 conversations, primarily from reposting, linking or retweeting the initial announcement. Primary sources of these conversations were blogs and microblogs.
The Akron Children’s website has more than 750,000 visitors a year and nearly 3 million page views annually. Between January 2010 and January 2011, the number of users accessing the site from a mobile device has tripled (5.88 % vs. 17.94%).