WASHINGTON: One Day's Pay, an organization formed to memorialize the victims of September 11, has entered "phase two" of its initiative to establish September 11 as a national day of observance, said the group's president, David Paine. The organization is backed heavily by the PR industry.
Originally launched in memory of Mark Bingham, a PR practitioner who died aboard Flight 93 when it crashed in a Pennsylvania field, One Day's Pay spearheaded the 2002 effort encouraging people to set aside a portion of their pay or time on September 11 to support a charity or community organization.
As the country nears the second anniversary of the tragedy, the organization has enhanced its outreach efforts to encourage people "to do something good for someone else on or around September 11," according to Paine, by having One Day's Pay team up with other nonprofits, coalitions, and PR firms and PR service companies.
One Day's Pay held a press conference to announce the initiative on August 12 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Subsequent to that event, which was arranged via donated services from PR vendors Medialink, VMS, PR Newswire, and Burrell's, more than 400 newspapers have covered the initiative. Paine has also made television appearances on Today, CNN, and C-SPAN, among others.
Since the press launch, hits on onedayspay.org have gone from 1,500 to 60,000. During
that time, 70,000 people have registered to honor the victims of September 11 through voluntary service.
"If anyone is trying to demonstrate the power of PR," Paine said, "this is a perfect example." He also revealed, "We really haven't been doing much else" to disseminate messages.
Despite promising results, Paine called phase two a "soft launch," and said efforts would be heightened significantly in 2004. A national advertising campaign - as well as targeted outreach to employers and schools - is in the works for the coming year.
By 2010, One Day's Pay hopes 30 million to 50 million people will observe September 11 as a national day of service.