PRWeek Awards - Public Affairs Campaign of the Year

Winner

Porter Novelli and Abundant Forests Alliance: Renew. Reuse. Respect.

Threatened by environmental activist campaigns that seek to the change the foresting industry’s procurement practices, the Abundant...

Winner

Porter Novelli and Abundant Forests Alliance: Renew. Reuse. Respect.

Threatened by environmental activist campaigns that seek to the change the foresting industry’s procurement practices, the Abundant Forests Alliance (AFA) decided it needed to do more to combat casual, if inaccurate, assumptions that US forests are dwindling away.

The strategy, as crafted by the DC office of Porter Novelli, focused on college-educated women ages 35 to 54 with children – a group with some interest in environmental issues, but who are not necessarily “activists” – with the central message summed up as “Renew. Reuse. Respect.” US wood and paper products are in fact renewable resources, as the AFA sought to convey to these so-called “legacy moms,” and the foresting industry wants to keep it that way by encouraging recycling and other environmentally responsible practices.

Execution of the multifaceted campaign, which judges called “very creative” and “very professional,” began with the publication of a children’s book called The Tree Farmer, by The Rolling Stones’ keyboardist Chuck Leavell, who is a tree farmer himself. The book was supported by a Web site, SMT, and public events associated with Earth Day and Arbor Day. In addition, AFA, in partnership with a group called Project Learning Tree, also developed two environmental grant programs, in Dallas and LA.

The campaign also sought to capitalize on the scrapbooking craze by teaming with lifestyle expert Katie Brown and paper artist Lynette Young to promote the use of wood and paper in homemade gifts. Highlights of the outreach effort include scrapbooking demonstrations at 500 Wal-Marts around the country, podcasts by Young on www.abundantforests.org, and a segment on Live with Regis & Kelly.

Print advertising ran in legacy-mom-type publications such as Real Simple and Ladies’ Home Journal and online sites such as iVillage and FamilyFun.com. The AbundantForests.org site continues to be updated with information on how the foresting industry manages forests and facts on the impact of recycling.

The budget of $10 million was big, judges noted, but it also appeared to produce big results, with some 50 million earned media impressions, more than 112,000 unique Web visitors, and pre- and post-research that showed improved public perceptions about the state of forests in North America overall, the number of trees cut versus the number grown, and the commitment of the wood and paper products industry to preserving forests in North America.

Honorable Mention

Fleishman-Hillard and The Coalition for Asbestos Reform: The Coalition for Asbestos Reform: Dealing the Deathblow to Flawed Legislation

In May 2005, a number of small and midsize businesses and their insurers banded together to form the Coalition for Asbestos Reform. The group sought to stop asbestos reform bill S.852, which it saw as unfairly favoring larger businesses based on assessments levied for a trust fund compensating victims of asbestos exposure. The challenge was daunting – Senate leadership, the White House, and major corporations supported the bill. Fleishman-Hillard and sister agency Mercury Public Affairs developed a campaign focused on building opposition to the legislation in the Senate through both direct lobbying and mobilization of small and midsize businesses around the country. With key inside-the-Beltway media hits and an emphasis on the adverse affects of the proposed legislation to business, the campaign overcame what judges noted was powerful opposition for a photo-finish victory: Passage of S.852 was blocked in the US Senate by a single vote.

Finalists 2007



  • Dittus Communications and The High Tech DTV Coalition: Turning the Channel to Better TV and Safer,Stronger Communities

  • Fleishman-Hillard and The Coalition for Asbestos Reform: The Coalition for Asbestos Reform: Dealing the Deathblow to Flawed Legislation

  • The Marcus Group and Van Ness Plastic Molding Co.: Van Ness Plastics School Referendum Campaign

  • Ogilvy PR Worldwide and The American Chemistry Council: Industry to Govt. – More Regulation Now

  • Porter Novelli and Abundant Forests Alliance: Renew. Reuse. Respect.


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