Book drive makes magic for kids

Comedy magician Mac King's longtime agency Preferred Public Relations helped him turn a personal passion into "Mac King's Magical Literacy Tour" to get books to needy Las Vegas schoolchildren.

Client: The Mac King Comedy Magic Show (Las Vegas)
Agency: Preferred Public Relations (Las Vegas)
Campaign: Mac King's Magical Literacy Tour
Duration: February to May
Budget: $5,000

Comedy magician Mac King's longtime agency Preferred Public Relations (PPR) helped him turn a personal passion into “Mac King's Magical Literacy Tour” to get books to needy Las Vegas schoolchildren.

“Books…got me interested in magic,” King says. “[For years], I've been speaking in schools about the importance of books. You hear horror stories about school libraries or about kids who don't even have one book at home.”

The goal was to collect 2,100 books for kids at four local public elementary schools.

Strategy
Agency CEO and creative director Michele Tell-Woodrow says The Public Education Foundation helped target needy schools, ensured books got directly to children, and facilitated school assemblies.

The Las Vegas Wranglers hockey team hosted book drives. PPR manager of client relations Rachel Diehl says the Wranglers have a “strong fan base of families,” and many are involved in education.

Social media outreach and media relations helped spread the word.

Tactics
King attended book drives at Wranglers home games February 4, 5, and 11. Tell-Woodrow notes the February 11 drive was added given the success of the first two. People who donated books got two tickets to his show and a ticket to a Wranglers game.

A video featuring King promoting the drives aired at six Wranglers games beginning January 21.

The PR team also asked local bookstores to donate books.

The campaign was promoted on the websites and social media properties of King and the Wranglers. The agency also raised awareness on its Twitter feed and Facebook page, which has about 1,500 media likes. The Public Education Foundation tweeted.

Media targets were primarily local, and King conducted interviews.

Reporters were invited to assemblies held during Nevada Reading Week (February 28 to March 4) at the four schools. King performed, read, and spoke at each, and students got to choose a book. King also donated a copy of his book Campfire Magic to the schools.

Results
Donations topped 3,100 books ending May.

More than 125 stories ran in outlets including Las Vegas Review-Journal and OurSportsCentral.com.

The campaign attracted additional partnerships, including one in which Las Vegas Springs Preserve and NBC affiliate KSNV created a PSA featuring King to drive book donations. Fresh foods delivery company Winder Farms and a local radio personality also partnered on an October book drive. About 2,500 additional books have been donated to date.

Future
The team continues to promote the tour. King has been asked to get involved with other education causes.

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