How authenticity is at the core of award-winning purpose initiatives

With purpose instrumental to organizational success today, two Carol Cone ON PURPOSE (CCOP) clients were awarded top honors at the 2021 PRWeek Purpose Awards, held October 13 in New York City.


Authenticity is at the core of each winning initiative, resulting in thoughtful, real, and sustained actions that impact the business internally and externally, while having a positive impact on society. How purpose empowers and powers organizations to embrace extraordinary new stakeholder responsibilities is profound when developed, embedded, and activated authentically.


CCOP is proud to celebrate the success of Action Against Hunger, a global humanitarian nonprofit, for taking top spot in the Health category, and Quest Diagnostics, a leading healthcare provider of diagnostic information services, for winning the Proof of Authenticity category.


“Authenticity, innovation, and creativity are essential to truly ‘living’ an organization’s purpose--and these honors for Action Against Hunger and Quest Diagnostics are proof,” said Carol Cone, CEO and Founder of Carol Cone ON PURPOSE. “On behalf of the entire CCOP team, we want to thank these two outstanding clients for their commitments to serving stakeholders, especially amid a challenging year.”


CCOP partnered with Quest to help tell the story of Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE), an over $100 million initiative to close the gap in health disparities for underserved populations.

“Five months into the pandemic we launched Quest for Health Equity to address the significant health disparities COVID-19 revealed among vulnerable populations,” said Gary Samuels, Chief Communications Officer at Quest Diagnostics. “We knew we needed trusted nonprofit partners to deliver critical services on the ground. We also needed an agency with deep social impact expertise to help us communicate our actions to Quest’s employees and throughout communities where we committed to making an impact. Carol Cone ON PURPOSE is invaluable for this work.”


Choose Healthy Life (CHL), a nonprofit focused on health issues in Black communities, was the first Q4HE grant recipient and began engaging Black clergy leaders to build trust among congregants and encourage them to get tested and ultimately vaccinated. With Quest’s support, CHL partnered with The Black Clergy Leadership Council to engage fifty Black ministers in some of the country’s hardest-hit cities, including Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Calvin Butts, and Senator Ralph Warnock. Beyond COVID-19 education and testing, Q4HE’s support enabled CHL to deliver 30,000 vaccinations in its five targeted communities. Other finalists in the Best Proof of Authenticity category included IBM, Procter & Gamble (Crest Toothpaste), and Frito-Lay North America.


Action Against Hunger’s Global Hunger Awareness campaign was launched in 2020 to engage two specific audiences: affluent markets, with a primary goal to raise awareness and funds, and vulnerable communities in low- and middle-income countries, where the campaign promoted effective health measures against COVID-19.


“Unfortunately, global hunger isn't a new issue, and it can be challenging to break through to a variety of key audiences. That is a significant strategic challenge for us, since we are working to lead a global movement that can end hunger in our lifetimes,” said Emily Tyree, Associate Director of Communications for Action Against Hunger. “By leveraging data, storytelling, and creative activations, we have been able to mobilize a new generation of donors, activists and potential partners. The Carol Cone ON PURPOSE team has been invaluable in collaborating on everything from big picture strategy to day-to-day activations that have delivered real, on-the-ground social impact.”


This comprehensive campaign involved surveys which indicated that most people in affluent countries are not aware of the extent of global hunger, or the fact that 2 million children die from hunger every year. Once educated on the issues, 70% of those individuals express interest in supporting a global hunger organization. To capitalize on that interest, Action Against Hunger launched educational initiatives which ranged from a virtual film festival to Waters of Africa activations in supermarkets to bring to life the 319 million people on the continent without access to clean water.


In response to COVID-19, Action Against Hunger engaged local influencers and partner channels within vulnerable communities with a goal of providing factual information via radio, SMS, social media, and grassroots efforts. Creative methods, such as embedding toys in soap to encourage hand-washing among young children, helped establish healthy habits and curb the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases. Other finalists in the Best Health category included Pfizer for its’ #StandWithScience vaccine campaign, Walgreens, Krispy Kreme, and Degree.


The annual PRWeek Purpose Awards “recognize activations that use creative ideas to further positive causes.” Read more about these winning initiatives and others here.