Working With the Ad Council: Pro Bono Doesn’t Mean ‘Free’


The Advertising Council is a nonprofit organization that recruits volunteer talent from the advertising and communications industries, and the resources of businesses and nonprofits to deliver important messages to the American public. Two years ago the Ad Council teamed with Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) for one of their most fruitful campaigns to date, says Heidi Arthur, senior VP and group campaign director of the Ad Council. While much of the work is pro bono, hard dollars are involved. “The IAVA came to us with grant to cover hard costs of research, strategy development and production of PSA campaign materials, and those costs are considerable,” she says. Interested in teaming up with the Ad Council on a campaign? Here are some tips from Arthur:

• Have very clear, tangible goals and objectives for the campaign.

• Develop a clear call to action: What should the targets do after seeing the ads?

• Have effective tools and a system in place to measure outcomes. Dollars spent on metrics are extremely important.
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