PR WEEK AWARDS 2001: Campaign - Community Relations Campaign of the Year 2001. Sponsored by Weber Shandwick Worldwide




Cone with ConAgra Foods

'Feeding Children Better'

ConAgra Foods needed to focus its philanthropic activities. In place of smaller donations to a wide array of causes, the company, which markets such brands as Butterball, Peter Pan and Orville Redenbacher's, wanted to restyle its giving program to have a substantial impact on a single problem.

It hired Cone, an agency known for its expertise in cause-related marketing.

With 12 million American children going to bed hungry each night, Cone found the theme of hunger a perfect fit for the food giant. It researched and interviewed nearly 50 hunger experts, organizations, and government officials, and reviewed books, articles, reports, studies, position papers and Web sites on the topic. It researched ConAgra's competitors and their philanthropy programs, and other businesses with hunger programs, and concluded that hunger was an issue that ConAgra could 'own.' The company agreed, and with Cone's help formed Feeding Children Better.

Cone named the program and designed its logo. Feeding Children Better was launched during National Food Bank Week in 1999 with a high-profile press event held jointly with the Center on Hunger and Poverty, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and leading hunger experts. The event drew major national media attention. Cone saw to it that Feeding Children Better partnered with groups like America's Second Harvest, the Center on Hunger and Poverty and Jeff Bridges' End Hunger Network, along with the Ad Council.

Feeding Children Better has since become the nation's largest corporate initiative devoted to fighting childhood hunger. In addition to helping correct inefficiencies in the nation's charitable food distribution system, its national public awareness campaign has spurred increased attention to the problem of childhood hunger.

Along the way, it boosted ConAgra company morale by uniting 80,000 employees in 80 different operating divisions around a cause that benefits their local communities. The initiative also gave ConAgra a means to broaden its relationship with key retail and foodservice customers like Kroger, Wal-Mart and McDonald's.

The program has opened 12 centers to feed hungry children, called ConAgra Feeding Children Better Kids Cafes, including in Providence, RI; Dallas; Chicago; Washington, DC; Orange County, CA, and Iowa. It plans to open 75-100 more over the next three years, with each serving an average of 10,000 meals per year. Feeding Children Better also distributed grants to aid with local food transportation and has raised or donated hundreds of tons of food.


Edelman with ConAgra Foods and American Dietetic Association 'Home Food Safety ... It's in Your Hands'

With the media spotlight firmly on food-borne illnesses, and cases of in-home food poisoning rising, ConAgra saw an opportunity to educate consumers about proper food handling. Con-Agra hired Edelman to help it communicate the critical role consumers play in food safety while being careful not to place blame or deflect corporate responsibility. Edelman paired ConAgra with the American Dietetic Association for the campaign, aimed at women 24-44 years of age and entitled 'Home Food Safety ... It's In Your Hands.' The program racked up more than 145 million media impressions, including more than 850 airings of a PSA in 27 markets. ADA spokespersons, media-trained by Edelman, gave more than 200 interviews on the topic, and broadcast and print placements appeared in all of the top 25 markets.

Winner 2000: Golin/Harris International with McDonald's - Get the Helmet Habit Bike Helmet Safety Campaign

The Award

The award recognizes outstanding achievement in local projects or ongoing local community programs in areas such as the environment, education, health, law, the arts and equal opportunities.

Finalists 2001

- RDW Group with GTECH Corporation - 'After School Advantage'

- Cone with ConAgra Foods - 'Feeding Children Better'

- Edelman with ConAgra Foods and American Dietetic Association - 'Home Food Safety ... It's in Your Hands'

- Fleishman-Hillard with Ultramar Diamond Shamrock - From Troubled Refinery to Beacon of Hope

- The Kreisberg Group with Pittsburgh Cultural Trust - The Pittsburgh Cultural District

- MRA PR with The Wireless Foundation - Donate a Phone campaign for domestic violence victims


With worldwide revenue of more than dollars 300 million and 2600 employees in 76 offices in 21 countries, Weber Shandwick Worldwide is the world's largest public relations agency. The agency is the world leader in key practice areas such as public affairs, technology and entertainment/lifestyles. We are sponsoring this category because we believe that community relations is an important corporate responsibility, and that our clients must communicate and work with the communities of which they are a part.

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