The TRICARE Marketing Program was awarded first place in its category in the 1997 Silver Anvil Awards Competition, sponsored by the Public Relations Society of America . The award was presented to Lt. Col. Kathryn Ingram, director of TRICARE marketing, Department of Defense (Health Affairs) at the Silver Anvil Evening in New York on June 12.
Ninety-two public relations programs were selected as finalists from among 630 entries. The TRICARE program, "Launching TRICARE," was declared the winner in the Internal Communications, Associations/Government/Nonprofit Organizations category.
"The Silver Anvil is the top achievement award in our business," Ingram said. "To be recognized as the best by your peers is the ultimate compliment and resulted from a real team effort within Health Affairs, the Military Services, and with Fleishman-Hillard, our commercial partners."
PRSA awards Silver Anvils in recognition of an organization's strategic use of public relations. Winning programs must meet the highest standards of the four components of public relations programming: research, planning, execution and evaluation.
"This recognition highlights the strong collaborative efforts among the Military Services and with our civilian partners to ensure our beneficiaries understand their military health care plan: TRICARE," said Dr. Edward D. Martin, acting assistant secretary of Defense (Health Affairs). Dr. Martin stated, "We are pleased and very proud of all who earned this award. At the same time, much more needs to be done so that our beneficiaries are fully informed on the benefits of TRICARE."
The TRICARE marketing program was developed and executed to inform the millions of beneficiaries eligible for military health care about the new program. Based on data collected from beneficiaries in the health care regions that initially implemented TRICARE, a marketing strategy and plan were developed and series of marketing products were prepared to help commanders and key staff present details about TRICARE to active duty and retired military personnel and their families.
Research subsequently conducted indicated the effectiveness of the marketing effort and confirmed the belief that those who understood TRICARE were more likely to be satisfied with the program.
The marketing outreach effort continues with the recent introduction of an interactive kiosk and distribution of trifold brochures addressing specific issues raised during the research and evaluation phase.