Working for affordable health

This year's Band Together NC campaign benefited Alliance Medical Ministry, which provides affordable healthcare to the working uninsured.

Client: Band Together NC (Raleigh, NC)
Agency: S&A Cherokee (Cary, NC)
Campaign: Band Together 2011
Duration: May 2010–May 2011

Founded in 2001, Band Together NC is a nonprofit that uses music to raise money and awareness for other nonprofits. This year's campaign benefited Alliance Medical Ministry, which provides affordable healthcare to the working uninsured.

“Some companies shy away from healthcare because of healthcare reform,” explains Band Together co-founder Danny Rosin. “We decided to take it on.”

PR agency S&A Cherokee, which began donating its services in 2009, helped Band Together expand events beyond one annual concert and increase its social media and online presence.

Strategy
A May 7 concert featuring four bands was the main event of the year. Additional fundraising and social events helped increase awareness, recruit volunteers, recognize sponsors, and highlight musicians.

Media relations, email, e-newsletters, a Google grant, billboards, banners, and flyers also drove awareness.

As Band Together was rounding its 10th year, S&A updated the nonprofit's branding and messaging.

Tactics
The new branding was revealed to sponsors, volunteers, the Alliance Medical Ministry, and the general public on February 24 at a downtown Raleigh hotspot.

Third Eye Blind headlined the May 7 concert. The winner of an April 8 inaugural battle of the bands event won a spot on the lineup.

A “Power Up the Purple Pod” campaign (referencing a medical suite at the alliance that is painted purple) drove the healthcare provider's messaging at the concert. Tactics included purple light shows, written materials, a live Twitter feed streaming on large screens, and an on-stage presentation. Attendees could also text to donate.

A video interview with Third Eye Blind guitarist Kryz Reid was posted on all online channels.

Executives from both organizations gave interviews throughout the campaign. S&A also created and distributed PSAs.

Facebook and Twitter audiences were engaged via music-related questions, calls for feedback on community nonprofits, contests, and videos.

Additional events included a Casino Night and monthly after-work socials. The team also partnered with Mended Heart Records to promote and sell a compilation CD of local musicians.

Results
More than $478,000 was raised for Alliance Medical Ministry -- a 32% increase over 2010 and a 48% increase in the cumulative total donated since 2001. Sponsors increased 75% over 2010 to more than 175.

Bandtogethernc.org page views jumped from 4,893 in the three months prior to the rebranding to 55,680 in the following three months. And from January 1 to May 7, Facebook likes totaled 1,570 -- up 83% compared to all of 2010.

More than 250 attended the new branding event; after-work social attendance averaged 150. About 150 media placements were also garnered.

Future
S&A Cherokee owner/principal Chuck Norman foresees the agency's relationship with Band Together continuing “for years to come,” and the team is vetting potential non-profits for 2013.

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