case study

Equipping Parents with New Drink Guidelines for Kids Ages 0-5



In 2019, four leading medical and nutrition organizations, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the Academy), American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Heart Association (AHA), released the first-ever consensus recommendations to encourage young children’s consumption of healthy drinks.   The report was led by Healthy Eating Research (HER), a leading nutrition research organization, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). 

Parents and caregivers were a key audience for the new recommendations as they make the decisions, in consultation with their health providers, about what to feed their children. The organizations involved in developing the recommendations have direct connections to their provider members, including pediatricians, pediatric dentists and nutritionists, all of whom could then relay information about the new guidelines to the parents and caregivers of their patients. However, as part of the initial launch of the recommendations, RWJF wanted to find a way to directly connect with parents and caregivers.  

Our Approach 

Burness partnered with a firm that specialized in influencer campaigns to mobilize a group of parent influencers who could use their popular social media channels to share information about the new drink guidelines. The partner firm shared a large group of potential candidates that Burness and HER vetted so that the final group was made up of an ethnically, racially and geographically diverse set of parent influencers. Some of the influencers were also dieticians, pediatricians, pediatric dentists and health/wellness leaders themselves and could incorporate both their parent and professional perspectives into the social media content. Burness provided the influencers with approved key messages and creative assets that they used to develop content that would resonate with their audiences.  

Results and Impact 

The group of 15 influencers wrote blog content covering the specific details of the drink recommendations, supplemented with social media amplification on their channels including Facebook and Instagram. Their posts resulted in more than 550 Facebook likes/reactions, more than 22,500 Instagram likes, and more than 1,200 combined comments on both Facebook and Instagram. The influencers also drove nearly 3,000 visits to, the main website for the guidelines, and more than 115 downloads of materials. One of the influencers also published an article for Parents Magazine online focused on the new beverage recommendations. 

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