Memphis and Shelby County have ranked in the bottom 10 percent of most studies as it relates to health, healthy eating, exercise, disease management and prevention.

The Carter Malone Group, LLC (CMG) developed and implemented two major integrated marketing campaigns for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST) during the past three years: The Healthy Church Challenge, 2012 and 2013; and, The Healthy Church Fairs, 2014. The primary goal of both campaigns was to help educate and empower West Tennesseans to live healthier lifestyles. CMG was responsible for: branding, collateral, recruitment, public relations, media relations, advertising, sponsors, volunteers and community partners.

We recruited West Tennessee churches to register to participate in the 100-day Healthy Church Challenge. Each church had a team coordinator and bi-weekly events featured a fitness instructor, a nutritionist, exercise sessions and weigh-ins. The Challenge culminated with an Obesity Summit that presented ways to stay healthy and fit after the Challenge. BCBST awarded a first, second and third place prize to the church team that had the greatest percentage of weight loss.

The inaugural Challenge garnered CMG a Best in Show VOX Award from the Public Relations Society of America and catapulted the community into year two.

In 2014, CMG coordinated nine Healthy Church Fairs on consecutive Saturdays at nine churches in Shelby County. Each health fair included: clinical screenings, health vendors, health-based associations, healthy cooking and exercise demonstrations and educational sessions. The health fairs continued to build brand awareness for BCBST and to support the company’s goal of impacting the health population of this community.

The campaigns received more than 3 million media impressions through media relations efforts with WREG-TV, WMC-TV, WHBQ-TV, WATN-TV, The New Tri-State Defender, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis Daily News, Memphis Health & Fitness Magazine, Spirit Magazine, WHAL-FM and WDIA-AM. BCBST received a return of over 75 percent of its advertising budget in in-kind promotions.