Winner: The Marcus Group Inc. – Restoring Gilda’s Club NNJ Campaign
Created in memory of the late comedian Gilda Radner, cancer support organization Gilda’s Club of Northern New Jersey was on the verge closing its doors permanently. In stepped The Marcus Group, which first recruited a new leader, Ruth Dugan, with a proven track record of financial turnarounds. Then came a green reconstruction of the clubhouse, which Dugan helped mobilize by tapping into $500,000 in federal funds. TMG orchestrated a dedication ceremony for the renovated clubhouse that drew the media.
TMG also got elected officials involved for a “Face Cancer Together Day” and staged a Bachelor Auction and “Ladies of Laughter” show. In all, TMG’s pro bono work helped raised more than $375,000 for Gilda’s Club. This financial stability has enable the Club to continue to provide support to anyone touched by cancer.
Arizona State University/KAAJE Communications – Phoenix Zoo’s Komodo Dragon Exhibit: As part of its capstone course at Arizona State’s Cronkite School, a student team promoted the launch of Komodo Dragon Exhibit by forming a partnership with Bacardi, which hosted a black-tie event, and by staging a VIP event for Phoenix Zoo members, among other tactics. More than 10,000 attended on opening day.
Blaze Public Relations – Walk with Sally Rocks Annual Fundraiser: Blaze launched an aggressive social media campaign to increase Web visibility of Walk With Sally, a California nonprofit that provides mentorship programs to children with families touched by cancer. Blaze also centered its media relations campaign on local media in celebrity-heavy L.A., which helped it publicize its benefit performance by rock star Gavin Rossdale.
Cramer-Krasselt – Running Digital Race with ACS: The American Cancer Society enlisted Cramer-Krasselt to help sell charity slots for the 2009 Chicago Marathon—in a mere five weeks. C-K developed a Facebook- and Twitter-focused PR plan to build awareness of the ACS Charity Athlete program. The result: 130 slots filled in time for the marathon.
Peppercom – Bringing Awareness to Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans: The Ad Council, working on behalf of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association, assigned to Peppercom the task of building awareness of IAVA’s Community of Veterans social networking site for veterans. Peppercom enhanced the organization’s existing partnerships and brokered new ones with the Mental Health Association and BlueMountain.com. The partnerships and surrounding publicity helped reach over 105 million consumers with information about IAVA.