2010 Platinum PR Awards: Public Affairs

Winner: DePaul University – DePaul University’s Campaign to Restore Funding for the State of Illinois' Monetary Award Program

Facing a financial deficit, the Illinois General Assembly planned to cut funding to the state’s Monetary Award Program (MAP), a decision that would affect 25% of DePaul’s undergraduates. Working with a coalition representing public, private and community college students, DePaul’s PR office launched an integrated campaign to engage audiences in an effort to reverse the decision.

In-person meetings and student rallies were focal points of a campaign based on personal engagement. Easy tools for letter writing encouraged massive participation. More than 3,000 community members responded by writing their legislators to urge MAP restoration. The outreach connected with 5.5 million people and culminated in Gov. Pat Quinn signing the crucial bill.

Honorable Mentions:
Adfero Group – Too Big to Fail/Single Bank Regulator:
To help spread the word about the dangers of "too-big-to-fail," Independent Community approached Adfero Group to develop print and radio ads that would accurately depict the big banks as a giant threat to the little guy. Adfero developed a "too-big-to-fail" giant character who was reminiscent of the robber barons such as Carnegie, Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan. As well as gain major press attention for the ads, ICBA bank has had its strongest-performing year to date.

AFSCME - Make America Happen Campaign for Health Care Reform: In 2009, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), a 1.6 million-member labor union, launched its “Make America Happen” campaign (MAH), a massive communications and mobilization effort to win enactment of its union’s top federal legislative priorities. AFSCME deployed organizers to 22 battleground states to organize grassroots lobby days, rallies and media efforts featuring AFSCME members in green T-shirts. 

Berman and Company - Defeat the Debt: Berman and Co. created the Defeat the Debt (DTD) program for the Employment Policies Institute as a non-partisan campaign to educate the public on the enormity of the national debt. The campaign's highly-visible centerpiece was a national television commercial entitled “Pledge,” featuring American schoolchildren pledging allegiance to “America’s debt and the foreign countries who lend us money.”

Partner of Promotion - “E-business? Poland Can Do It!”:
To encourage entrepreneurs to use the EU funds for innovative projects, which will contribute to the economic development of Poland, Partner of Promotion developed a "Poland Can Do It" campaign and Web portal, dedicated to entrepreneurs and offering advice on how to apply for the UE funds. Since the campaign launched, the number of applications for grants has increased by 600%.

TSG Consulting - “Mental Health Crisis Campaign”: The West Virgina Behavioral Healthcare Providers Association wanted to reverse a decline in state support for mental health programs. To help the cause, TSG Consulting developed a plan to define the issues and target members of the state legislature and other high-ranking officials. Though the governor vetoed a bill to protect mental health money, he did allocate $12.7 million to the cause.

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