Hispanic Public Relations Assoc. Honors Compassion & Choices’ Latino Media CampaignLeave a Comment
The Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA) awarded Compassion & Choices its 2016 ¡Bravo! Awards for “Non-Profit Campaign of the Year” and “Public Education Campaign of the Year” for its Latino media outreach campaign that helped pass California’s historic End of Life Option Act.
Signed into law last year, the End of Life Option Act took effect in June. It allows terminally ill adults to request a doctor’s prescription for medication they can decide to take to die peacefully if their suffering becomes unbearable.
Support for the End of Life Option Act among California Latinos (70%), who are predominantly Catholic, was 10 points higher than among California Catholics as a whole (60%), according to a poll conducted in June 2015 by Goodwin Simon Strategic Research and Probolsky Research. In addition, support for the law among Latinos rose to at least 75 percent according to a poll conducted in August 2015 by the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California at Berkeley.
The HPRA National ¡Bravo! Awards are the most prestigious awards in Hispanic communications, recognizing the industry’s finest public relations and marketing campaigns from across the country. The winners were announced Wednesday night during a ceremony at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel in New York City.
“Congratulations to Compassion & Choices and all the winners for contributing superb work to the Hispanic public relations industry,” said Antonio Hernandez, president of HPRA’s national board. “As we continue to advance the practice of Hispanic public relations, we are proud of providing a platform to recognize and celebrate Latinos’ achievements in this hyper-competitive profession.”
“We were able to educate, mobilize and engage Latino voters and California policymakers about medical aid in dying,” said Toni Broaddus, former California campaign director for Compassion & Choices, who is now acting national director of political affairs and advocacy for Compassion & Choices. “Our Latino communications media strategy heavily influenced the passage of California’s End of Life Option Act. Six previous attempts over more than two decades to pass similar legislation had failed.”
As communications director for Compassion & Choices’ California campaign, Patricia A. González-Portillo, a former journalist for La Opinión, The [Riverside, CA] Press-Enterprise and The Brownsville [Texas] Herald, launched an innovative Latino media campaign. The objectives were to educate Latino voters and policymakers about medical aid in dying, publicize compelling stories to encourage them to become engaged in the issue, and persuade them to support a law authorizing this end-of-life option.
Compassion & Choices (C&C) recruited Dan Diaz, who had relocated from California to Oregon with his terminally ill wife, Brittany Maynard, so she could utilize Oregon’s death-with-dignity law, and publicized the stories of other Latino Californians whose personal experience demonstrated the need for this end-of-life care option. C&C also recruited labor leader and civil rights icon Dolores Huerta; and actor, director and activist Edward James Olmos.
Those tactics led to hundreds of online, print, radio and TV news stories in Spanish-language media outlets that exclusively focused on the option of medical aid in dying and endorsements of the End of Life Option Act by various publications, including La Opinión, the nation’s largest Spanish-language newspaper.
“It is a great honor to receive the nation’s most prestigious awards in Hispanic communications,” said González-Portillo, who is now the national Latino communications manager for Compassion & Choices in its Los Angeles office.
“I am very excited to expand our Latino efforts nationwide and to continue to provide culturally appropriate material for Spanish speakers,” said González-Portillo, a native Texan born and raised on the U.S.-Mexico border. “All of my colleagues at Compassion & Choices and I are committed to empowering terminally ill Latinos with the tools they need so they can access the end-of-life care options they desire.”