2013 Platinum PR Awards: Pro Bono Campaign

Winner: Cone Communications - Northwestern Mutual’s Childhood Cancer Program: Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow

Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children ages 15 and younger in the U.S. In fact, one-in-330 Americans will develop cancer before their 20th birthday, yet compared to other diseases, such as breast cancer, childhood cancer research and support services are surprisingly vastly underfunded. As one of the nation's leading financial security companies, Northwestern Mutual (NM) helps clients and their families plan for and secure their futures; however, for the thousands of families fighting childhood cancer, their futures are threatened by the burdens of treatment.

That's why in July 2012, NM launched the Childhood Cancer Program, the company's first, multi-year philanthropic program to accelerate the search for a cure for childhood cancer and to provide support to families facing the daily struggles of the disease.

At its annual meeting 2012, NM kicked off the program internally through various activities, including an informational booth to educate about the urgent need to support childhood cancer and immediate ways to get involved; a retail program for hotels to donate a percentage of lemonade-inspired drink sales to ALSF; a lemonade stand at NM's annual 5k race for field staff and employees; an advocacy reception for field staff and employees who have demonstrated a commitment to the fight against childhood cancer; and administered an online consumer survey to 1,000 U.S. adults (18-65) to gauge awareness of childhood cancer during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

In the first 10 months of the Childhood Cancer Program, NW made a significant social impact on childhood cancer, especially in communities where NM field staff and employees work. Specifically, the company has donated $1.1 million to national nonprofit partners, which has funded 6,800+ hours of childhood cancer research; supported 1,084 children and their families; helped more than 60 communities; engaged 23 childhood cancer hospitals; and provided 272 nights of lodging and 32 flights to families needing treatments outside of their community.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Bellmont Partners - Always On Duty: A Permanent Memorial to Minnesota's Fallen Firefighters
  • Havas PR - Building Bridges Between One Young World and Pittsburgh
  • Reingold - Honor Flight: A Lasting Tribute