2013 Nonprofit PR Awards: Press Release

Winner: Strategic America – Shoes That Fit

Funds to the central Iowa Shoes That Fit program were running close to $20,000 below normal. That prompted serious concerns by Mediacom, the annual campaign coordinator for the 10-year-old program, which provides new shoes and other winter clothing to children in need. Strategic America (SA), which sponsors the program, determined that media relations would be the best approach to boost awareness about the need for additional donations.

SA crafted a press release outlining the donation needs and the mission of Shoes That Fit. It also included a clear call to action and what the impact would be if the needs were not met. The story was pitched to the Des Moines Register, which has the largest circulation in Iowa. However, customized news releases were also written and pitched to newspapers in other central Iowa communities in which local schools were participating in the program.

Success for the campaign would not be measured by the amount of media coverage; it just needed a few impactful stories to ensure that the dollars rolled in. And to that, mission accomplished. Just two days after the Des Moines Register ran a story on the program, 400 additional items were donated to the organization and financial contributions started to pour in. The influx enabled the program to meets its 2011 goal of distributing 8,614 items to children at 55 schools while raising more than $62,000. —Matthew Schwartz 

Honorable Mentions:

• American Society of Anesthesiologists - The ANESTHESIOLOGY 2012 Annual Meeting Press Kit

• Impact Public Affairs - 4,500 km of Shoestring: Raising Awareness for Victims of Crime in Canada

• National Beer Wholesalers Association - 2012 Craft Beer Distributor of the Year

• Singer Associates Public Affairs/Public Relations  - The $70 Million Press Conference

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About Bill Miltenberg

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