2012 Nonprofit PR Awards: Corporate/Nonprofit Partnership

Co-Winner: Discovery Education and the Siemens Foundation – Siemens STEM Academy

With American students lagging in math and science compared to other nations—and in response to President Obama’s new priorities for STEM education as part of a new foundation for America’s future prosperity—Discovery Education and the Siemens Foundation decided to provide a rich—but free—online professional development community for educators to exchange and download resources. The partnership also allowed teachers to participate in and view classroom and educator-only webinars and obtain up-to-date STEM news. The community, used by more than 180,000 teachers across the U.S. as a classroom resource, is supported by a blog that offers best practices and a wide range of STEM-related news and events. —BM

Co-Winner: Scholastic Inc. and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers – The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards - a partnership between Scholastic Inc. and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers

With the goal of honoring high school students who demonstrate superior talent and achievement in things of the spirit and of the mind, Scholastic and the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers positioned its award program to gain media attention in a very crowded market. This was accomplished by culling through the winners to determine potential story angles for the media, conducting phone interviews with those winners and followed up by thorough media research to get best story placement. In 2011, Scholastic took local media outreach further than ever by pitching 40 local markets, garnering a significant increase in coverage. Scholastic provided media training to students participating in interviews as well. To beef up the coverage, the national awards ceremony was held at NYC’s Carnegie Hall, attracting reporters from the winners’ local markets who shared the news that their local teen had made it to the legendary performance space. —BM

Honorable Mentions:

American Airlines, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Weber Shandwick – American Airlines Honors National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with Global Pink Out: The 2011 program integrated traditional and social media with the “Fly for the Cure” theme in which travelers donate to “pin” a ribbon to their location on a map on American’s Facebook page. This helped generate $1 million for Komen and drove users to AAdvantage membership options.

The Marcus Group Inc. – The Marcus Group “40 for Goodness Sake” Anniversary Campaign: To commemorate its 40th, The Marcus Group’s “40 for Goodness Sake” project was designed to give the gift of its services to seven deserving nonprofits. Public relations, graphic design, Web design, marketing and social media expertise were delivered pro bono to nonprofit clients like Little Kids Rock and Waves of Health.

Office Depot Foundation, USA Today and JKG Group – Office Depot Foundation/USA Education Dream UP Program: Office Depot and the Dream UP Career Exploration Program inspired middle-school students to stay in school and pursue their dreams by providing career exploration workbooks to students and teachers in nine states.

Rebuilding Together and Sears – Heroes at Home: A national campaign to raise consumer awareness around the needs of America’s veterans, Heroes at Home celebrated its 1,000th home rebuild in 2011, and featured a fundraising concert series headlined by Josh Gracin, as well as an in-store Sears fundraising campaign and multiple social media promotions.