2009 National Backpack Program Media Relations Campaign
To increase awareness of its National Backpack Program, in existence since 2001, the Office Depot Foundation, the primary charitable arm of Office Depot, set out in 2009 to launch a media relations program focusing on the distribution of nearly 300,000 backpacks containing school supplies to nonprofits and schools in the U.S. and Canada.
To distribute the 300,000 backpacks, the foundation launched 25 “Back-to-School Backpack Celebration” events across the U.S. and Canada involving local government officials, school district reps and nonprofits. Five of the presentations featured NASCAR champion Tony Stewart.
Media outreach was directed toward print (both local and national), broadcast and online audiences. Materials included national and community-based press releases and an online press kit.
From July 1 through Oct. 31, 2009, the program garnered 104.8 million impressions, including articles in The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal Online.
“The most valuable lesson learned was the importance of telling the story about the impact that the backpacks made [in students’ lives],” says Mary Wong, president of the Office Depot Foundation. â–
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