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NCCDD Media Relations Program

What is the purpose of the NCCDD Media Relations Program?

To assist the NCCDD in community outreach and collection of public input from individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families on opportunities and barriers they face in everyday life to guide the development of funded grant Initiatives, public policy goals, and systems change activities.

What are the Planned Activities in Year 3 (of 5)?

  • Plan and develop RUN (Registry of Unmet Needs) marketing efforts for Year 3
  • Plan and organize 2021 Advocacy Leadership Awards
  • Support all Five Year Plan efforts and outreach
  • Produce and launch Council Member campaign
  • Continue to raise awareness of the Council across the state as a consensus builder on the broad issues that affect people with I/DD and their families.
  • Identify strategies to increase awareness of funded initiatives and opportunities to increase sustainability in the community.
  • Increase the number of people who understand and champion the removal of barriers in the system that impact independence, inclusion, and self-determination among those with I/DD.

What has taken place since the start of the program (Activities Year 1 and 2)?

  • Realigned communications and outreach due to COVID-19 outbreak to inform and educate audience about DD and State related updates.
  • Participated and coordinated in Five Year Planning efforts with committees. Pivoted in-person efforts to go all virtual.
  • Promoted virtual listening sessions for three regions. Managed registrations and promotions
  • Participated and coordinated ADA 30 Event; supported pivot for Virtual Event by developing content and branding, and supporting registrations through eventbrite
  • Gained press coverage for Talley Wells ED, Five Year Plan, COVID-19 webinars, virtual listening sessions, etc. Continued efforts to raise awareness of NCCDD across the state through publication of updated HHT newsletter, initiative announcements in Constant Contact and press relations.
  • Increased accessibility and reach of NCCDD by adding Spanish translations of HHT newsletters, forms for Advocacy and Leadership Awards and important web banners. Also provided HHT newsletters as audio recordings.
  • Enhanced the awareness of the Council, advocates, individuals with I/DD and their families through the organization and implementation of the NCCDD Annual Awards, including coordinating launch efforts and producing videos for winners in preparation for the Nov. Council Meeting.
  • Continued monthly video series, “Conversations with the Council”
  • Enhanced website content with a new Public Policy Update feed, updated Council Member page to include map of member locations, updated calendar of events page to include map of event locations and added Action Alerts
  • In 2018-2019, created, posted and evaluated an average of over 20 social media posts to Facebook and Twitter each month, resulting in a 20% increase in followers to Facebook (average reach 260,000 people) and a 14% increase in followers to Twitter (average engagement 16,529 - 14% increase)
  • In 2018-2019, increased engagement across target audiences with a new regional approach to the NCCDD’s calendar of events and Council Membership listing(s), as well as through News, Action and Event alerts, all with over a 23% open rate.
  • In 2019-2020, created, posted and evaluated an average of over 34 social media posts per channel (Facebook and Twitter) per month resulting in a 55% increase in outbound messages on Twitter; 279% increase in outbound messages on Facebook and 9% increase in Twitter followers and 13% increase in Facebook followers. Together, the channels saw an increase of 241% in impressions and 1,420% in engagements. Engagement Rate stayed steady at 1% for Twitter and 7.2% for Facebook. This is normal to industry standards. Total: 113% increase for posts on both channels; 241% increase in impressions and 1,420% increase in engagements
  • In 2019-2020, increased engagement across target audiences with 50 emails sent (averaging 6 a month) – newsletters, event alerts, news, COVID-19 alerts, listening sessions and more; 355 net new contacts; 25% open rate (+1% increase, +3% increase, industry standards); 11% click-through-rate (+1% increase, +3% increase, industry standards)
    Outlined and initiated DD Awareness Month and ADA Awareness Month social media campaigns and supported event planning efforts for DD Awareness Month

What has taken place in the First Quarter of Year 3?

  • Supported Council with Advocacy and Leadership Awards. Produced 3 videos for award recipients for virtual awards ceremony.
  • Produce HHT, event alerts and news alerts. Sent 16 campaigns
  • Promoted vaccine presentations and encouraged registrations - resulted in 730 registered attendees
  • Continue promoting efforts through social media and press
    - 83% increase in engagement
    - 10 mentions in press - 236,000 people reached across North Carolina

What long-term changes are expected as a result of this initiative?

  • Increase individual, family, public, and system knowledge and engagement to provide system advocacy for the financial security and community living opportunities of individuals with I/DD, with additional specific emphasis to increase the knowledge and engagement of members of the NC Hispanic/Latino/Latinx community.

Who is the contractor?

OCI Logo BLue

The contractor is O'Neill Public Relations, Inc., dba O'Neill Communications

Who can I contact for questions?

O'Neill Communications: Devika Rao, President, devika@oneillcommunications.com
NCCDD: David Ingram, Systems Change Manager, david.ingram@dhhs.nc.gov

Additional Resources

Click here to download a one pager of this initiative.



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North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities

1-800-357-6916 (Toll Free)
984-920-8200 (Office/TTY)
984-920-8201 (Fax)
This project was supported, in part by grant number 2001NCSCDD-02, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.

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