Los Angeles: Following a June agency review, UNICEF has selected JS2 Communications as AOR for its US Fund.
The firm will work in tandem with UNICEF's New York-based communications department to support branding, media relations, community outreach, and event-planning strategies on behalf of the 60-year-old charitable organization, said Jeff Smith, CEO of Los Angeles-based JS2.
Initial PR efforts started in July, with a major launch later this summer. A multifaceted campaign "geared at kids and their moms" will tout the client's established Trick-or-Trick for UNICEF program, Smith said.
The agency has also begun work on behalf of UNICEF's annual Snowflake Lighting, he said. Sparkling above New York's Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, Smith said, "people love looking at it, but don't know why it's there. It's meant to remind people at holiday time of children."
To coincide with the start of the holiday shopping season in early November, that effort will include PR designed to call attention to the history and significance of UNICEF's Baccarat crystal snowflake.
JS2 will also oversee event coordination and media relations for the client's annual Snowflake Ball, a black-tie fundraising event to be hosted by Bryant Gumbel. In 2005, the event raised more than $1.6 million for UNICEF, Smith noted.
"After a thorough process that included several firms responding to an RFP, what set JS2 apart was their enthusiasm, results-oriented approach, relevant experience and creative thinking," said Lisa Szarkowski, MD of PR for UNICEF's US Fund.
"We went in with almost a fully comprehensive plan," she added. "Now we need to get our arms around this and organize around the initiatives."
JS2's UNICEF team is headed by Smith as well as agency president Jill Sandin in Los Angeles and Gregg Goldsholl, GM and VP, in New York.