Launch of Sexual Health Site

Case Study: The Campaign to “Kiss Chlamydia Goodbye” for the Launch of the Sexual Health Website and At-Home Testing Kit


Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease, responsible for 1.1 million cased reported to the CDC in 2007. Experts say that twice as many cases go undetected. Additionally in 2006 they reported that one million people age 10-24 had Chlamydia, gonorrehea and syphilis. The primary objective of the campaign and website is to educate the public, particularly millenials, about their sexual health and the importance of STD testing. The company saw the opportunity to raise awareness of various choices for STD testing options and to help destigmatize the taboo topic of STDs. With an online diagnostics focus, the company educates the tech savvy millennial generation that lives online and increasingly seeks their health information on the Internet. A secondary objective was to reach adult parents of millenials who may find the mediums used by the company as a great way to convey the message and encourage the conversation around sexual health. From a PR strategy, we included industry trends such as the economy and the fact that with more time on people’s hands, having sex is more commonplace. With this activity is increased exposure to STDs.


The primary tactic was the development and execution of a media relations plan on a national and regional basis to both trade and consumer media that focused on health and technology themes.
We created a series of panel discussions at prestigious academic settings to enforce the millennial and educational themes. We used many Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics by using the links to media outlets including Chicago Public Radio, Gaper’s Block (a dedicated Chicago online medium), the Wall Street Journal and NBC5 Chicago.
Additionally a focus for PR was around the company’s partnerships, including being awarded the first quality seal for a website of it’s kind by the nation’s voice on STDs, the American Social Health Association. Also leveraged was the producers of “The ‘O’ Mission” webisode series that fueled the site launch and encouraged audiences to “watch, talk and rock” around this issue.
The Ballast Group designed a campaign that included expert health panel discussions used during the webisode screening at The Gene Siskel Film Center and also at Columbia College Chicago. These programs were filmed to use later as B-roll for broadcast stories and to enhance online stories of print publications.
Media placements, particularly the Wall Street Journal and NBC5 were leveraged by putting on the website, highlighting SEO tactics to organically drive website traffic and to use with partner, investor and webisode distributor discussions.


This story and website was a national angle. The company fills a huge need for private, online medical testing that is driven by consumers. The site launched May 4 and in 45 days, had hundreds of thousands of impressions and visitors from all 50 states. News coverage was secured in the following outlets and tests were ordered from 32 states – breaking sales targets during the initial launch. The top two media placements, the Wall Street Journal and NBC, added significant value to the launch and drove considerable traffic to the site. Coverage during the six month campaign included:

NBC5 Chicago and affiliates in New York and Dallas: “Virtual Sex-Ed; The Birds and Bees 21st Century Style,” July 22 (a publicity value of $20,000).
The Wall Street Journal’s Health Journal: “Chlamydia, the silent killer that can cause Infertility,” June 29, Melinda Beck (a publicity value of more than $150,000).
REEL CHICAGO, “Webisodes ensure young adults get the message. STD testing and awareness is its mission.”
Columbia Chronicle’s “New webisode informs audience of STDs”
Chicago Public Radio’s Amplified’s “Debut Screening of “O Mission” and Expert Panel Discussion with Dr. Kamal Singh, Dr. Gregory Sarlo, Lynn Barclay, Jim Forni , and Michael Fry.”


Total Hits: NBC affiliate release from Chicago was also aired in OH, NY, FL, TX and WA.
Total Audience Impressions: ~800k
Total Publicity Value: $34,981.75+

The news coverage and independent links to the stories above contributed to more than 550,000 impressions in the first month. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts were greatly enhanced to drive organic traffic to the site. Additionally we created and posted clips from the expert panel discussions and “O” Mission webisode trailer to create a YouTube educational piece.


Kellee Johnson, Principal of The Ballast Group LLC, 312-751-3959 for, a wholly owned subsidiary of DTC MD based in Schaumburg, IL.