WASHINGTON: The Magazine Publishers Association (MPA) will join the
American Association of Publishers (AAP) next week as a new partner in
its Get Caught Reading campaign, a nationwide initiative to stimulate
public interest in reading.
First launched in 1998, Get Caught Reading originally encouraged people
to read through grassroots efforts and posters featuring celebrities
reading books. Starting next week, however, the campaign will feature
figures such as Derek Jeter, Jane Seymour and even Donald Duck reading
Linda Rosenbaum, MPA VP of public relations, said that her organization
had joined the campaign for two reasons: to stimulate magazine sales and
increase MPA's visibility with members of Congress.
'This is a program that gives the magazine industry an opportunity to
get behind an important cause and gain visibility on Capitol Hill,' she
said. 'We are very actively involved in lobbying efforts in the area of
postal reform, privacy and copyright issues. Anything we can do as an
organization to gain visibility in Congress for a popular cause like
literacy can only benefit the industry.'
Which is why the MPA has chosen Capitol Hill to stage a press conference
next week to announce the campaign and debut the posters. Several
members of Congress, including Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Rep. Jim Kolbe
(R-AZ), are expected to attend.
In addition to the posters, the campaign will consist of a grassroots
effort to encourage reading in local communities. MPA and AAP will be
encouraging local libraries, schools, retail book outlets and even
supermarkets to coordinate events, such as guest celebrity readings, in
their own areas. The publishing groups will be sending out Get Caught
Reading starter kits to aid local efforts.
Rosenbaum added that the campaign is operating on a 'minimal' budget but
will receive more than dollars 1 million in free advertising space from
member publications such as Ladies Home Journal, Better Homes and
Gardens and Playboy.