Childhelp uses a 'Trooper' to drive Web traffic, fundraise

Like many nonprofit organizations coping with the economic recession, Childhelp, a child abuse prevention and treatment organization, is on a tight budget.

Like many nonprofit organizations coping with the economic recession, Childhelp, a child abuse prevention and treatment organization, is on a tight budget. Still, it needed to raise awareness, drive traffic to its online destinations, and raise money.

The nonprofit and its PR partner, Gordon C. James Public Relations (GCJPR), decided to use online outreach for the first time and its celebrity relationships to reach its goals.

Strategy

“We have a number of celebrities that have been loyal to us over the years, but we were using them more for the event side,” says Derrek Hofrichter, communications manager for Childhelp.

By tapping into its connection with Starship Troopers star Casper Van Dien for a PSA (pictured), the nonprofit hoped to attract attention on YouTube, which can be difficult given the number of videos uploaded daily, says Gordon C. James, owner of GCJPR. Hofrichter also credited “the timing” as an important part of the success of the PSA; a new Starship Trooper film had just been released.

Tactics

Before the PSA was released, GCJPR and Childhelp contacted other organizations, and used Van Dien's online fansite and a child abuse prevention Facebook group to drive awareness. These sites also uploaded the PSA the day it was released on YouTube.

Childhelp and GCJPR also conducted media outreach to blogs and online outlets.

Results

The PSA garnered more than 65,000 hits on YouTube in a one-month period. The effort also got hits in the USA Today blog, Ain't It Cool News, and other outlets.

Childhelp saw traffic to its site double and a 20% increase in online donations.

Future

Another PSA featuring Shaquille O'Neal has been filmed and will debut this spring.

PR Team: Childhelp (Scottsdale, AZ) and Gordon C. James Public Relations (Phoenix)

Campaign: Starship Troopers Childhelp PSA

Duration: January 23-February 23, 2009

Budget: $1,000

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