Client: Davis Newman Payne Advertising & Marketing Communications (Knoxville, TN)
Client: Davis Newman Payne Advertising & Marketing Communications
PR Team: In-house Campaign: DNP’s 50th anniversary
Time Frame: Mid-March to mid-April 2000
Budget: dollars 10,000 out-of-pocket expenses; dollars 10,000 in
employee billable hours
You don’t want someone stepping into the spotlight just as you take
center stage. That’s exactly what Knoxville, TN-based Davis Newman Payne
wanted to avoid when it celebrated its 50th anniversary in April.
The problem was that along with DNP, three other Knoxville advertising
agencies were celebrating a golden anniversary in 2000. ’We didn’t want
such an important milestone to get lost in the clutter,’ says agency
president Victor H. ’Buddy’ McLean. The challenge was to create a
celebration that would top the usual black-tie fete and distinguish the
’We wanted to let the community know we appreciate their 50 years of
support,’ says McLean, who’s been with the agency since 1972. What
better way to say thanks than to give back to the community? The
employees came up with a list of organizations they felt they could have
an impact on: Knoxville Habitat for Humanity, Mobile Meals, Knox Area
Rescue Ministries, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Serenity Shelter
and New Life Inn.
The employees came up with a plan to stage five one-day events involving
all of the agency’s 35 employees.
The ’give-fest’ kicked off on Monday, April 10. DNP threw housewarming
parties for two recent Habitat for Humanity home recipients. The next
day the firm paid for 760 meals from Mobile Meals, served and delivered
by DNP staff.
On Wednesday, employees stuffed fanny packs with toiletries for 100 men
at the Knoxville Union Rescue Mission. Thursday was hospital day - DNP
donated 40 special care packages designed to help children prepare for
surgery. The final day, the firm hosted a party in a local park for
abused women and their children and homeless families.
’Getting everybody to the right place at the right time was a big
challenge,’ says McLean.
Press releases about the events went to print, broadcast and new
Daily media alerts were also sent. The firm followed up with the press
after the celebratory week with a release targeting national trade
media, selected local weekly newspapers and charitable publications. The
company had special DNP anniversary logos made for shirts and baseball
caps that the staff wore all week.
Both the ABC and NBC television affiliates did two-minute segments
featuring charityweek festivities. The Knoxville News Sentinel ran a
feature on the front page of its business section. A photo taken at the
Children’s Hospital is scheduled to appear in an upcoming issue of It’s
About Children, which goes to key hospital staff, corporate and
individual donors and businesses. The Chamber of Commerce will run DNP’s
anniversary efforts in its newsletter.
But what’s most rewarding, says McLean, is the feedback from clients and
the community. ’We generated a lot of goodwill. Our clients told us that
they were proud of what we did.’
To keep the buzz going for now, DNP will launch a newsletter for its
contacts. Says Nelson: ’Of course, the first issue will highlight our