Friday, February 12, 2010

Newark Launches "Status Is Everything" HIV Prevention & Testing Campaign

Laurence Ganges, Assistant Commissioner, NJ Dept of Health & Senior Services; and Gary Paul Wright, Executive Director, African American Office of Gay Concerns, attend the press conference launch for "Status Is Everything" HIV Prevention and Testing Campaign earlier this month in Newark, NJ .

Newark’s African American Office of Gay Concerns and The Mayor’s LBTGQ Commission launch the “Status Is Everything” HIV Prevention & Testing Campaign

An Innovative Multimedia Campaign Targeting Young African American Gay Men In Newark, NJ

Newark, NJ, February 4, 2010 – The African American Office of Gay Concerns (, joined Mayor Cory A. Booker and the LBTGQ Commission to launch “Status Is Everything,” a Newark focused HIV testing campaign targeting young African American men between the ages of 18-24 who have sex with men in the Greater Newark area. “Status Is Everything” is the first HIV social marketing campaign in New Jersey to utilize text messaging, Twitter, Facebook, PSAs and large-scale movie theater, transit, and billboard advertising. The referral process for “Status Is Everything” is threefold. Candidates can receive referral services through their mobile phone, 1-866-HIV-CHECK-- the New Jersey HIV/STD hotline, or online at Results for the campaign will be measured and evaluated through the HIV Prevention Community Planning Support and Development Initiative of Rutgers University.

In an effort to keep up with Generation Y, the AAOGC saw the need to utilize social media tactics to reach and impact their intended demographic. “I think the greatest thing about this project is that we took the question to the very people we serve. They gave us the who, what, when and how to reach our target population. What you see in this campaign is definitely consumer-driven,” said Gary Paul Wright, the Executive Director of the African American Office of Gay Concerns.

“Status Is Everything” campaign is uniquely Newark-focused and informed by focus groups of African American gay men from the area. Tamara Fleming, Principal and Creative Director of FEMWORKS, LLC said, “My vision for this campaign was to create images & graphics that spoke directly to the target market. The focus group research gave me a better understanding of what sentiments needed to be communicated. Our goal was to create affirming visuals and imagery of African American gay men that are easy to relate to.” African American men who self-identify as men who have sex with men and live within the Greater Newark area, are used in the original photography and PSA videos, which are a key component to the campaign’s success.

The “Status Is Everything” multimedia promotions and content is featured on social media networks including YouTube and CauseCast, which allows for content sharing, interaction, and visitor contributions on a national basis. “More and more people are using social networks to get their news and information,” said Department of Health and Senior Services Assistant Commissioner Larry Ganges. “Facebook, Twitter and text messaging are innovative methods to educate this community and promote HIV testing, which can save lives.”

For more information, visit

Source and Photos: FEMWORKS, LLC

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looking at the photos, the Evidence Ball must be one of the PREMIERE social events for African Americans in New York City!