Disney Parks promotes volunteering in 2010 marketing campaign

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL: Disney Parks introduced its 2010 marketing campaign, "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day," by organizing volunteer events in five cities and securing media exclusives to announce the promotion.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL: Disney Parks introduced its 2010 marketing campaign, "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day," by organizing volunteer events in five cities and securing media exclusives to announce the promotion. Starting January 1, when consumers volunteer with the HandsOn Network, they receive a free one-day admission ticket to a Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort theme park.

With events in Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Toronto, and Los Angeles on September 29, the company announced the promotion and "created a genuine volunteer effort because we're inspiring people to volunteer," said Craig Dezern, VP of global PR for Disney Destinations.

Disney Parks handled most PR and media relations internally, working with Coyne PR on regional outreach to 30 top markets across the US. To kick off the national media coverage, the company secured exclusives with Good Morning America, Despierta America, and the Associated Press, and also worked with Canada AM and Salut, Bonjour! in Canada.

"On the social media side, we launched the Disney Parks Blog, and we were able to have multiple posts on the blog that day with the announcement and following up with visuals from each of the five cities," Dezern said. "We had Twitter feeds throughout the day that were driving to the blog or saying, 'Watch Good Morning America for the big announcement.'"

Additionally, Disney reached out to bloggers, fan sites, and its Walt Disney World Moms Panel to spread the word about the promotion, and it invited the bloggers to the volunteer events. HandsOn Network is handling its own PR, leveraging its contacts in the volunteer and nonprofit media to promote the idea of families volunteering together, Dezern said.

The hard times of the recession, and a push from the Obama White House, has brought increased attention to the topic of volunteerism in the US this year.

"The concept of volunteering right now is taking off across the nation; it's a big trend," Dezern noted. "It's a marketing campaign, that's true, but it's one that really does have a lot of meaning for our company because of our commitment to that for so many years."

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