NEW YORK: The Ad Council hired Peppercom for its first 100% pro bono PR effort, supporting a campaign from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Starting this month, the firm will work for one year, donating a minimum of $100,000 in services, said Paula Veale, EVP of corporate communications for the Ad Council.
“We have been integrating PR into all our programs for many years,” she added. “[This] was really looking at the model a little differently.”
Over the summer, the Ad Council turned to PRSA's Counselors Academy, of which Peppercom managing partner Steve Cody is a member, to start a partnership that would mirror the way the Ad Council works with the American Association of Advertising Agencies to assign ad agencies to do pro bono work. The two groups put out an RFQ in November to targeted firms and shortlisted three. Veale hopes the partnership will continue beyond this campaign.
“We help them identify and vet firms based on the unique elements of the campaign, the unique expertise that is required,” said Arthur Yann, VP of PR for PRSA.
Cody said a lot of the initiatives for the veterans campaign will focus on digital, as well as a number of regional PR opportunities.
“The challenge is getting veterans and their friends and family to understand that they aren't alone,” he explained. “[If] they are going through some problems, there are some solutions readily available for them. It's a really cool communications challenge.”