NEW YORK: The United Way (UW) has hired up-and-coming media whiz Dwight Williams to helm its media relations.
Williams, 27, was formerly a press aide to New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.
He replaces Nancy Hite, UW's former director of media relations, who left in June to join Hill & Knowlton's New York office as a senior AE. Williams will report to SVP of marketing communications Ann Ormsby.
George Arzt, press secretary for former mayor Ed Koch and current head of his own PR firm, referred Williams to UW. Ormsby said the experience Williams gained working with the media in the Guiliani administration was the central factor behind his hiring. 'I think being responsive to the press in a timely manner and being able to think on your feet is extremely important.'
Williams will play a key role in the development of UW's new branding initiative, which kicked off last September.
His help is needed. Focus group studies with UW donors like Pfizer and American Express revealed that the charity's messaging has not been consistent.
In light of this, UW officials broke with tradition and launched a self-sufficiency campaign with the tag line 'We don't just give you the shoes.
We get you back on your feet.' UW plans to use this motto for the next five years. In 1998, United Way raised dollars 3.4 billion.