2016 Digital PR Awards: Public Affairs Campaign

Winner: MSLGROUP - Celebration of Service: Creating Independence at Home for U.S. Veterans

MSLGROUP worked with The Home Depot Foundation to research how to make the most impact on veterans facing enormous challenges while using Team Depot’s unique skillset. There are more than 22 million veterans in the United States, and nearly one in four live with a disability.

Story after story, those identified for Team Depot projects illustrated the data: a disabled Gulf War veteran and Triple Bronze Star recipient who couldn’t navigate his home in his scooter; a 92-year-old World War II veteran whose bathroom was inaccessible.

MSLGROUP and the client prioritized safety and accessibility projects that would make it easier for disabled and aging veterans to carefully navigate their homes. These projects, such as building ramps and renovating bathrooms with safety features, would guarantee a more substantial impact on veterans' lives than the beautification projects that were common in past campaigns.

The effort launched the #ServiceSelfie social giving campaign to engage consumers, associates, nonprofit partners and media nationwide. Participants were encouraged to celebrate service in their own communities, and The Home Depot Foundation committed to donating $1, up to $1 million, for each social media action. Actions included sharing a #ServiceSelfie on Twitter or Instagram or liking, commenting or sharing one of nine weekly Team Depot Facebook posts honoring nonprofit partners that serve veterans.

The program was promoted through outreach to select media and influencers with mailers, which invited them to be honorary Team Depot members and armed them with Team Depot selfie sticks to share their own #ServiceSelfie. It engaged consumers through crafted media messages and rich content online. Each participating nonprofit partner received a #ServiceSelfie toolkit, which explained the campaign and provided tips to help the organizations get the word out (e.g., sample social media posts, promotional graphics).

Honorable Mentions:

  • DEVENEY - Proposition Coalition
  • GCI Health - America's Diabetes Challenge
  • John Guilfoil Public Relations LLC - P.A.A.R.I. and Police Responding to the Opioid Crisis
  • Lincoln Strategy Group - Coalition to Protect NV Ratepayers