Using the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions’ (CDC) blog, Public Health Matters, the self-proclaimed “Zombie Task Force” crafted a witty but educational blog post about zombie preparedness, while regularly referring to real emergencies like hurricanes, floods, or earthquakes. Communicators stated that if people were prepared for a zombie apocalypse they were prepared for any emergency. Readers were told how to make a plan and emergency kit and how to stay informed using CDC’s emergency website, which provides up-to-date information on emergencies, tools for preparing, and training resources.
Stepping outside the box proved a success. The blog went viral and trended on twitter; the traffic was so overwhelming that it crashed the CDC blog server. Although only $87 was spent, the campaign achieved an estimated 3.6 billion impressions and had an estimated marketing value of $3.4 million. This campaign increased awareness of preparedness activities, involving new audiences that weren’t previously engaged. The success of this campaign demonstrates the importance of listening to your audience and harnessing the power of social media to deliver your message globally. The success of the initial blog post has spurred many other products and partnerships, allowing CDC to reach a broad section of the population with an engaging and important topic.
David Daigle, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Margaret Silver, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Ali Khan, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Catherine Jamal, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention