PR WEEK AWARDS 2001: Campaign - Non-Profit Campaign of the Year 2001. Sponsored by Manning Selvage & Lee




MRA and The Wireless Foundation/Motorola Donate a Phone campaign

Since 1996, the wireless industry has donated more than 17,000 phones - and airtime - to domestic violence victims for use in emergencies. But with 5,000 women being abused each day, it was not enough. The Wireless Foundation and Motorola hired MRA PR to develop and publicize a nationwide program to collect used wireless phones and raise awareness of domestic violence.

Analysts estimated there were over 24 million old and unused cell phones in the US, and a study commissioned by the Wireless Foundation showed that, given a choice, wireless users were more likely to donate their old phones to victims of domestic violence than to any other cause. MRA brought the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence aboard the campaign, adding third-party credibility to its effort.

MRA's strategy centered on aggressive media relations, and its positioning of cell phones as 'a weapon against domestic violence.' It recruited Susan Sarandon as spokesperson and put together a splashy launch that was featured on Good Morning America. The campaign also created a strong Web site, and reached out to grassroots anti-domestic violence groups to boost their involvement, and to retailers to increase the number of phone drop-off sites.

MRA created the collection boxes and posters promoting the campaign, which retailers could order through the Web site. The agency also put together a press kit including domestic violence fact sheets, and biographies and background information on the three partner organizations.

A radio and TV PSA, starring Sarandon, was distributed nationally. MRA also coordinated a satellite media tour with the campaign partners that was used by TV stations in more than 20 markets. The campaign received coverage in Time, Woman's Day and Marie Claire magazines, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Journal Constitution and Chicago Tribune.

Two syndicated journalists wrote stories resulting in multiple placements.

Heloise from the 'Hints from Heloise' column wrote about the drive - resulting in 500 media appearances - and the campaign was featured on Oprah. The Web site received more than 3.4 million hits, and the TV PSA starring Susan Sarandon reached more than 8% of all American households.

But the numbers that really count: As a result of the campaign, more than 1,500 groups - from wireless carriers to grassroots organizations - held phone drives, collecting more than 120,000 cellphones.


Carway Communications with American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) 'Autoimmunity: A Major Women's Health Issue'

Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis strike 50 million Americans each year, but they are little understood among the public or the scientific community. Raising funds for research meant raising the profile of the diseases, so the AARDA hired Carway Communications to launch a major public awareness campaign. The agency forged partnerships with health organizations, universities and government agencies, designed a Web site and press kit, and held press briefings, public forums and medical symposia on the topic. Carway's efforts generated new interest in autoimmune diseases from the medical community, and the requirement for research on the diseases in the Children's Health Act of 2000.


Ogilvy with National Park Foundation 'Experience Your America'

The National Park Foundation, official non-profit partner of the National Park system, hired Ogilvy to help it increase public awareness of the nation's parks and to help promote Americans' sense of ownership and responsibility toward the parks. Under the tagline 'Experience Your America,' the campaign included media training for park employees, locally targeted advertising and PR, and the standardization of publications and signage throughout the park system. The campaign culminated with Ogilvy's introduction of the National Parks Pass. The launch garnered coverage on Today and CNN, and in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and over 200 local newspapers.

Winner 2000: Cohn & Wolfe (Washington DC) with Washington Animal Rescue League - Y2K-9 Compatibility and Silicon Alley Cats 85th anniversary funding drive

The Award

Judges considered the effectiveness of non-profit organizations in fundraising, or in changing or enlisting public, political or corporate support.

Finalists 2001

- MRA and The Wireless Foundation/Motorola - Donate a Phone campaign

- Ogilvy with National Park Foundation - 'Experience Your America'

- Carway Communications with American Autoimmune Related Diseases Foundation - 'Autoimmunity: A Major Women's Health Issue'

- Perry Communications Group with National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance - Various activities

- Shandwick Public Affairs with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association - The Healthy Competition Campaign


Congratulations to all the finalists short-listed for the best non-profit campaign of the year. Working largely in the 'commercial' world, the employees of Manning Selvage & Lee are proud to support the fine efforts of all of you in the not-for-profit sector. Your programs help to maker the world a better place, and as public relations professionals we're all proud of the contributions you make.

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