Walls Communications and NAACP - GOTV 'Southern States Voter Project 2000'
In 2000 the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) mounted one of the most involved voter-education campaigns in its 91-year history. The campaign was inspired in part by a Time magazine report showing that less than 45% of the nation's African-Americans voters actually planned to vote in the presidential election in November, compared to the 54% who voted in the 1996 election.
Recognizing that the outcome of the election could shape issues important to African-Americans for years to come, the primary goal for 'Get Out the Vote: Southern States Voter Project 2000' was to significantly increase the number of African-Americans voting in 10 Southern states: Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
In September, the NAACP retained Walls Communications to help communicate its objectives. With just over two months before the election, the agency, together with Circulation Experti, an African-American Public Relations Alliance partner, conducted research and devised a strategy to saturate targeted communities using print and broadcast media, as well as the Web.
To set the NAACP's message apart from other campaign rhetoric, Walls used a slogan adapted from the African-American anthem 'Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing.' 'Lift Every Voice and Vote' became the theme for all activities associated with the campaign, giving the NAACP's efforts extended visibility.
The campaign's activities included a series of PSAs for radio and television featuring Kweisi Mfume and Julian Bond, the NAACP's president and chairman respectively; bus tours, black college town hall meetings; and a Web site through which African-Americans could register to vote.
CNN, MSNBC and Fox Network News, as well as local stations in several of the targeted states, covered the NAACP's efforts. Print coverage included articles in more than 400 newspapers with a combined circulation of more than 19 million.
The goal was not to elect a particular candidate, but to get out the black vote. By that standard the campaign was a spectacular success: 4,777,056 African-Americans voted in the 2000 presidential election, compared to 3,598,528 in 1996 - a 33% increase. In addition, the NAACP's Web site received more than 1 million hits and registered more than 20,000 new African-American voters.
Deen & Black and Universal Lifeline Telephone Service Marketing Board - 'ConnectCalifornia'
Until recently, California's local phone companies were solely responsible for informing consumers about Universal Lifeline Telephone Service (ULTS), a federal program of reduced-rate phone services. Then the California Public Utilities Commission formed a marketing group to direct a ULTS public education program. Deen & Black was hired to run Connect California, a campaign to increase awareness of and subscribers to ULTS. To reach its target audiences - minorities, senior citizens and persons with disabilities - the agency established a call center and distributed information through media serving the targeted communities. The center received 20,670 calls, or 345% of its goal.
Bromley/MS&L and Western Union - Western Union Helping Hands
Western Union's Helping Hands campaign targeted Central American immigrants in the US, who regularly wire money to relatives in their countries of origin. Helping Hands aimed to boost money transfers from the US to El Salvador and Nicaragua, through efforts designed to build brand loyalty. With help from Bromley/MS&L, the company printed brochures on topics such as education and labor rights, developed educational programs on US immigration law, and used PSAs and other materials to educate Nicaraguans about that nation's life-threatening diseases. As a result, transactions doubled from Los Angeles to El Salvador and jumped 70% between Houston and El Salvador.
Winner 2000: Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide - The ConPact HIV prevention strategy in Washington DC
The category is open to campaigns, or components of campaigns, that are aimed at cultural interest groups, particularly those defined by ethnic origin or religious or sexual orientation.
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- Bromley/MS&L and Boy Scouts of America - Hispanic Awareness campaign
- Bromley/MS&L and Western Union - Western Union Helping Hands
- Deen & Black and Universal Lifeline Telephone Service Marketing Board - 'ConnectCalifornia'
- GrupoLink/Weber Shandwick and Loquesea/Tantofaz Networks - Market awareness campaign
- Walls Communications and NAACP - Get Out the Vote (GOTV) 'Southern States Voter Project 2000'
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