2012 CSR Awards: CSR on a Shoestring

Winner: The French Will Never Forget (TFWNF) and Euro RSCG Worldwide PR – The French Will Never Forget 9/11 Tribute


When the U.S. was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, most of the world was shocked, angered and in mourning. But after France opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a standard cliché began appearing in the American media: that the French did not stand by the U.S. In response, TFWNF, a grassroots nonprofit, was formed in 2003 by four French citizens with the goal of strengthening the friendship between the two countries. To mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Euro RSCG first covered the digital and social angles, creating a U.S. version of the group’s Web site and a Facebook page. Then aggressive media outreach ensued to trumpet a 9/11 TFWNF event in New York. Interviews with former NYC Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen were secured with international outlets. In Paris, a replica of the Twin Towers was built near the Eiffel Tower. The challenge of the campaign was sensitivity, says Marian Salzman, CEO of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR. “It was in helping to nuance the messages so they remembered, honored and stood as French New Yorkers saluting from Paris,” she says. The results: a bevy of international media coverage, including 68 major print and online placements around the globe. —SVC


Honorable Mentions:

Baruch College – The Baruch Index of Corporate Political Disclosure: A press conference and webcast heralded the creation of the Index, which measures a company’s use of funds for campaign activities.

Boscobel Marketing Communications – Power IT Down Day 2011: Encouraging government workers to power down their IT equipment, the Day—promoted via social media—achieved 50% more registrations in 2011 than in 2010.

Grant Thorton LLP – Dollar for Difference Campaign: Employees were asked to use a dollar to make an impact in their communities; three fundraising letters ultimately raised $10,000 for charity.

Valley Metro and R&R Partners – Valley Metro Notes: To increase bus and train ridership in Phoenix despite a 30% cut of bus route service, animated music videos demonstrated the best ways to ride, resulting in a 5.1% boost in riders.