Community Relations

Winner: MassMedia Corporate Communications

Campaign: McDonald Carano Wilson LLP Supports Fernley Flood Relief

When 1,500 people in Fernley, Nevada, were evacuated after the Truckee River Canal was breached, causing massive flooding that damaged more than 800 homes, the law firm of McDonald Carano Wilson sprang into action. Neoma Saulnier, director of marketing for the firm, which has always made community support a top concern, oversaw a four-day initiative that raised $50,000 to benefit the City of Fernley as well as the American Red Cross' Fernley flood relief efforts.

Rubbing Elbows With VIPs

Because of the very high media visibility of the Fernley flood relief, MassMedia, which worked with McDonald Carano Wilson on the initiative, pitched all local print and broadcast outlets. It also set up a press conference for photo, video and interview opportunities that featured a check presentation by the firm's managing partner John Frankovich, interspersed with speeches from Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons and the city of Fernley's Mayor Todd Cutler.

Saying Thanks

In less than five days, MassMedia positioned McDonald Carano Wilson as a generous contributor to the Fernley flood relief effort with every major news outlet in northern Nevada. In addition to securing positive press coverage of both the press conference and the firm's role in the flood relief, Mass Media also designed and coordinated media buys for a Fernley flood recognition ad that was published in the vicinity's most strategic business and lifestyle publications. Partners and attorneys at the firm also noted that they had received numerous cards, phone calls and e-mails from clients and potential clients thanking them for their donations to the relief effort.

Honorable Mention

Company: Duane Morris

Campaign: Duane Morris Community Relations Initiative: Alumni Web site

The Duane Morris law firm wanted to strengthen its attorney alumni network by creating a space where both the firm and its alumni can reestablish contact with former colleagues and share information: The result was the Duane Morris Alumni Web site. Launched in February 2008, the site has been a highly effective conduit for alumni to stay in touch, send new contact information and provide feedback.

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