CAMPAIGNS: Lend a hand, get some coverage - Event PR

Client: Davis Newman Payne Advertising & Marketing Communications (Knoxville, TN)

Client: Davis Newman Payne Advertising & Marketing Communications (Knoxville, TN)

Client: Davis Newman Payne Advertising & Marketing Communications

(Knoxville, TN)

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


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