Medela’s #MomsUnite4Milk Campaign Wins a 2023 Ragan CSR & Diversity Award

Ragan’s CSR & Diversity Award Luncheon at New York City’s Yale Club

The Ragan CSR & Diversity Awards selected Medela’s #MomsUnite4Milk campaign as 2023’s best ‘Public Health or Safety Initiative.’ The award was announced at a luncheon on September 28, 2023 at the Yale Club in New York City.

Ragan’s Annual CSR & Diversity Awards

The Ragan CSR & Diversity Awards, formerly known as the PR Daily Social Media & Digital Awards, honor “the organizations, people and teams whose CSR, ESG or DE&I efforts have played an important role in making the world safer, healthier, more equitable, and sustainable.”

The awards are open to in-house teams, agencies, and independent communication practitioners. Other honorees this year included Mars Food, Cisco Systems, Mastercard and PepsiCo Foundation.

The awards organizer, Ragan Communications, is a media brand.

Ragan has hosted their annual CSR & Diversity Awards since 2012. The awards this year featured 32 categories including CSR & ESG Business Practices, Cause Advocacy Campaign, Allyship, and Professional of the Year.

Ragan’s CSR & Diversity Award for a Public Health or Safety Initiative

Medela’s #MomsUnite4Milk campaign won versus two other public health finalists:

  • the ZING543210 campaign by Geisinger
  • the ‘Proven Strategies for Responding to a Public Health Crisis’ by N-Touch Strategies

About the Medela #MomsUnite4Milk Campaign

The #MomsUnite4Milk campaign began in response to formula shortages in early 2022 as “milk banks nationwide are experiencing a 20 percent uptick in demand,” according to a Medela press release which announced the launch of the #MomsUnite4Milk campaign.

The campaign’s goal was to “provide practical support to families donating breast milk while raising awareness about the importance of human milk donation,” according to the Ragan award profile.

A milk and formula shortage, caused by general supply chain issues, coincided with a voluntary product recall by Abbott Nutrition and the related shutdown of the company’s Sturgis, Michigan manufacturing plant due to infant formula contamination in February 2022.

Formula shortages disproportionately affect low-income families on a federal aid program known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). “The share of infant formula in the United States that is consumed by WIC infants ages 0 to 12 months is estimated to have been about 56 percent in 2018,” according to a 2022 report by the USDA.

The Medela initiative included a Pump-a-Thon and education campaign to drive donations of breast milk to nonprofit milk banks. Medela also provided free breast milk storage bags to “the first 1,000 moms located in the in the USA or Canada who reach[ed] out” with a commitment to donate. Medela additionally donated $25,000 to the Human Milk Banking Association of America.

#MomsUnite4Milk Sponsored Content

Medela promoted the #MomsUnite4Milk campaign through partnerships with women-focused publications such as YourTango and the daytime television show, The View, during World Breastfeeding Week.

The sponsored segment on The View blended Medela’s philanthropic and commercial interests:

The View segment was seen by 2.4 million viewers, airing on 79 affiliate stations in 9 markets with pickup from YourTango and MSN, generating an additional 1 million impressions.

Medela also partnered with high-profile Instagram influencers, including:

  • Wendy Ayala, who shared four Spanish-language posts, reaching more than 600,000 followers
  • RaiseGoodKids, who shared a post reaching more than 1 million followers

#MomsUnite4Milk Earned Media

On June 28, 2022, Medela conducted a #MomsUnite4Milk satellite and radio media tour. Their spokesperson was Jeff Castillo, EVP of the Americas for Medela. He appeared on local programs to promote the Pump-a-Thon. The news hook was the infant formula shortage.

The satellite and radio media tour earned 12 interview bookings, exceeding the benchmark of 10 expected interviews, yielding:

  • 115 TV broadcast segments, generating 1,030,172 impressions
  • 83 radio segments, generating 1,547,900 impressions

The Medela Cares Program

The #MomsUnite4Milk campaign is administered by Medela’s internal corporate social responsibility program, Medela Cares. The company has donated more than $4,000,000 since 2015, according to their website. In 2022, Medela Cares donated product to support more than 60 nonprofit organizations across the USA.

Founded in Switzerland in 1961, Medela is known as the inventor of the modern breast pump. The company is represented by 21 subsidiaries in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Australia, and is present in 100 countries around the world through an independent distribution network.

The #MomsUnite4Milk Campaign was Also a Shorty Awards Finalist

The #MomsUnite4Milk campaign was also a finalist at the 15th Annual Shorty Awards in the Real Time Response category. Medela’s quick response to the infant formula crisis enabled them to launch the #MomsUnite4Milk campaign at the height of the formula shortage, when interest (and news coverage) was at its highest.  

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Stephanie Siu
Stephanie Siu
Stephanie Siu is a journalist, author, and ghost writer for business executives. Siu's work has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, and Yahoo Finance. Prior to becoming a writer, Siu was a research analyst specializing in corporate governance and social entrepreneurship.

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