PR agencies show support

NEW YORK: According to ABC News, in the week following the

terrorist attacks, Americans donated more than $200 million to

major charities.

Exemplified by a $3 million donation by the Omnicom Group to the

Twin Towers Fund, PR agencies and networks are joining other industries

to donate funds, items, and services to assist the people and businesses

harmed by the attacks.

Mark Raper, president of Carter Ryley Thomas Public Relations and

Marketing in Richmond, VA, helped found the September 11th Victims'

Relief Fund the day of the attacks. Its goal is to rapidly identify and

address unmet needs of victims and families. The fund had collected

$20,000 in donations a week after it was formed.

Three days after the attacks, 40 PR workers created a 501(c)3

organization - the Twin Towers Orphan Fund. The fund plans to provide

long-term education, healthcare, and other primary assistance to

children currently under the age of 21 who were orphaned by the attacks.

Created by independent practitioners in California and New York, the

organization collected $10,000 in its first week of


Megan Gajdos, an account manager at Duffey Communications in Atlanta,

said staffers felt thankful, but helpless to be so far from the

epicenter of the attacks. To empower themselves, they voted to donate

$1,000 to the Twin Towers Orphan Fund.

"Anything that affects New York is going to affect us and our clients,

as well as our friends and family up in those areas," said Gajdos.

"Everyone is looking to do the right thing."

Some firms are allowing employees to take one-time payroll charitable

deductions to the charity of their choice.

Several agencies have become involved in non-monetary activities.

Stanton Crenshaw Communications set up a free office space clearinghouse

at, and a number of agencies

sent employees to donate blood on the day of the attacks. Pro-bono work

has also been a way for many companies to contribute.

Giving should continue next week, as fundraising drives are incomplete

at many agencies. For example, this week, Ketchum Washington, DC has

scheduled sales of baked goods, crafts, used books, and videos, as well

as an office raffle that will benefit families affected by the Pentagon


PR industry collects donations for those affected by NY and DC


Allen & Caron New York and Irvine, CA $2,500, to NY Fireman's


Business Wire Nationwide, HQ in San Francisco $20,000 by

employees, to be matched 50% by Business Wire. Total: $30,000

Drasnin Communications San Diego $1,000 to an agency-created

charity to be publicized, the Foundation of America Memorial Fund

The DEVON Group Shrewsbury, NJ

Organized clients to donate 10,000 pairs of socks and t-shirts, donated

to NYC rescue workers

Duffey Communications Atlanta

$1,000 donation to the Twin Towers Orphan Fund

Hill & Knowlton UK London Pro-bono services to the WTC Disaster Fund,

the official charity set up in the UK to raise funds for the dependents

of those killed or injured in the terrorist attacks

Horn Group San Francisco and Boston

Employees contributed $1,300, matched by a $1,000 company


Total: $2,300

Mentus San Diego $1,000 to the Red Cross through BIOCOM/San


Michael & Partners Dallas Eight employees gave $600, the

president added $250. Total: $850

Omnicom Group London $3 million to the Twin Towers Fund

Padilla Speer Beardsley Minneapolis and New York $500 to the

Uniform Firefighters Association - Widows and Children's Fund

Vanguard Communications Washington $1,000 to the Washington

Family Relief Fund.

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