Cotton Incorporated names Golin first agency partner

NEW YORK: Cotton Incorporated, the nonprofit behind the "fabric of our lives" initiative, has selected GolinHarris as its PR agency partner in the US following a review.

NEW YORK: Cotton Incorporated, the nonprofit behind the “fabric of our lives” initiative, has selected GolinHarris as its PR agency partner in the US following a review.

The group, which is funded by US upland cotton growers and cotton importers, launched the RFP to find its first national PR agency to help with outreach for its “24 Hour Runway Show” and “From Blue to Green” denim drive, said Shawn Steiner, director of consumer PR for Cotton Incorporated. Steiner added that the review had three finalists, but she declined to name the other agencies. 

Steiner explained that the group worked with various PR firms to help with industry issues in the past, and it works with Edelman in Beijing. It will work with Golin this year and next year. Steiner declined to specify the agency's budget.

In addition to feeling a connection with the GolinHarris team, Steiner said Cotton Incorporated selected the firm because of its close relationship with Jack Morton, also an Interpublic Group agency, which helps to produce the organization's programs.

Golin, with a team of two staffers in Miami and four in New York, will promote the Runway event on March 1 with the launch of the “Road to the Runway” campaign this week, said Catherine Franklin, executive director and consumer practice lead at the firm.

Steiner said for the first 24 Hour Runway Show last year, the organization did not launch a formal campaign to promote the event. However, this year, GolinHarris and Cotton Incorporated will engage consumers months in advance.

The agency partnered with six style and fashion bloggers from across the country for the initiative to “scope out America's best regional street styles with cotton,” explained Franklin.

The campaign will encourage consumers to upload photos of their cotton styles to the Fabric of Our Lives microsite, as well as the People.com user-generated photo section called YourTurn.

In addition to creating traction through the campaign, GolinHarris will engage print, online, and broadcast media to promote the initiative and the fashion show, said Franklin. She said while consumer lifestyle press outlets are a focus, the outreach will include a wide range of sectors because many demographic groups wear cotton.

“The program allows us to show the versatility of cotton, and that story can have many different angles,” Steiner said.

Cotton Incorporated has also tasked Golin with promoting its From Blue to Green denim drive, which encourages consumers to donate denim so it can be recycled into insulation for communities in need.

The initiative also asks college students to get involved, and it also has retail and mail-in programs so that people around the US can donate. 

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