ASM receives awards for PR excellence

June 18, 2001

The American Society for Microbiology's "Don't Get Caught Dirty-Handed"--Clean Hands Campaign has been honored with two awards for excellence from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

The Campaign won the prestigious Silver Anvil Award from PRSA at a ceremony in New York City June 14. The Silver Anvil Awards, presented annually since 1946, symbolize the forging of public opinion and are awarded to public relations practitioners who, in the judgment of their peers, have successfully addressed contemporary issues with exemplary professional skill, creativity, and resourcefulness. The Awards are known as the "icon of best public relations practices." The winning programs meet the highest standards of the four components of strategic public relations programming-research, planning, execution, and evaluation. The 2000 Silver Anvil winners were selected by judging panels comprised of 109 senior level public relations practitioners.

ASM shares the Silver Anvil with the Chandler Chicco Agency, New York City, who collaborated in running the Campaign.

"We are extremely gratified to receive this award and the professional recognition that it represents," according to clinical microbiologist Dr. Judy Daly, ASM Secretary who serves as spokesperson for the Campaign. "We at ASM are committed to continuing to emphasize this important public health message." ASM has also been elected to the 2001 Associations Advance America Honor Roll, a national awards competition sponsored by ASAE, Washington, DC, for its Clean Hands Campaign. Now in its 11th year, the Associations Advance America Awards program recognizes associations that propel America forward with innovative projects in education, skills training, standards-setting, business and social innovation, knowledge creation, citizenship, and community service.

In the Clean Hands Campaign, ASM teamed with Chandler Chicco to increase public awareness about the far-reaching benefits of handwashing. In 1996 and 2000, two interview and observational studies found virtually identical results, that 95% of Americans say they wash their hands after using a public restroom while only 67% actually do. Extensive publicity of these results captured major headlines in print, broadcast, and online outlets. Print circulation for the 2000 Campaign stands at more than 23,000,000, and more then 500 separate news segments appeared on national and local television outlets.
Materials and information are also available on a website,, which has recorded more than 41,000 visitor sessions since its inception. ASM has also received requests for information and materials for school, public health agencies, hospitals, and other organizations around the world.

American Society for Microbiology

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