Fund for Veterans puts the focus on education benefits

DKC has worked with The Fund for Veterans Education since November 2007 to educate the public on the gap between the cost of a college education and the funding the GI Bill provides to cover that cost.

DKC has worked with The Fund for Veterans Education since November 2007 to educate the public on the gap between the cost of a college education and the funding the GI Bill provides to cover that cost.

In March, the PR team decided to take things one step further and created a campaign to inform and convince Congress to develop a new GI Bill that would include fully funded education benefits.

Strategy
The PR team wanted to clarify the common misconception that veterans receive full education benefits, and increase awareness that the current GI Bill doesn't even cover half the cost of many colleges.

It decided that information and stories from students affected by the GI Bill would be the most influential in achieving its goal. "While elected officials needed to speak, this really had to be about the students," says Bruce Bobbins, EVP at DKC.

Tactics
DKC focused messaging on key districts where legislators were against a new bill or undecided. They also reached out to the public through news stories, Op-Eds, editorials, events, and rallies where veterans told their stories and elected officials spoke about the issue.

Results
The campaign ultimately proved successful when President Bush, who was originally against the bill, signed it on June 30. "Eighteen months ago, no one thought there was any possibility at all for this dramatic increase in benefits," says Matthew Boulay, director of The Fund for Veterans Education and The Campaign for a New GI Bill.

The team also secured many mentions in national print and TV outlets, including The Washington Post, USA Today, and NBC news.

Future
DKC will continue to work on the campaign until the new GI bill is enacted.

PR team: The Campaign for a New GI Bill and DKC (both New York)

Campaign: Campaign for a new GI Bill

Duration: March 2008-ongoing

Budget: $22,500

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