Gift of Hope targets Hispanics to preach the need for organ donors

Gift of Hope, an organ and tissue donor network, worked with the San Jose Group to initiate a campaign that would engage Chicago's Hispanic community.

Client: Gift of Hope (Itasca, IL)
PR agency: The San Jose Group (Chicago)
Campaign: National Donor Sabbath Hispanic Outreach
Duration: October to November 2009
Budget: Less than $15,000

Gift of Hope, an organ and tissue donor network, worked with the San Jose Group to initiate a campaign that would engage Chicago's Hispanic community.

The initiative was centered on preparing for the National Donor Sabbath on November 13 to 15, a nationally recognized weekend in which religious groups host organ donation programs each year.

Strategy
Traditional media was at the core of the effort, with Raiza Mendoza, Hispanic outreach coordinator for Gift of Hope, appearing on media spots for Hispanic TV stations like Univision and Telemundo in the weeks leading up to the National Donor Sabbath.

"One problem we face is that some people aren't aware of which religions support organ donation," Mendoza explains.

Tactics
Agatha Kubalski, director of PR for the San Jose Group, says it was important to meet with community faith leaders who could act as ambassadors of the message.

Mendoza visited 11 churches over the four-week period, with media mentions in 20 Spanish-language news outlets.

"We were able to get coverage from all of the major Hispanic channels," Kubalski says.

Results
During the 30-day campaign, Gift of Hope registered 15% more organ donors as compared to the same period in 2008. The team also measured 40,000 more hits to the group's Web site in November 2009 than in the following month.

"It was very clear we made progress," Mendoza says. "We work all year to raise awareness on this issue. This campaign obviously made an impact."

Future
Shortly after completing the campaign, Gift of Hope hired the San Jose Group as its Hispanic AOR for 2010. The team is currently working on media spots and grassroots projects.

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