Best Crisis Managment

World Vision lands nearly 4,000 media placements during Typhoon Haiyan

The humanitarian relief organization is an expert at working with the media. Here’s how it landed more coverage than any other nonprofit to help the victims of one of history’s deadliest disasters.

Typhoon Haiyan Response Campaign - Logo -

World Vision, a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization, is no stranger to crises. Its mission is to help children, families, and communities “tackle the causes of poverty and injustice.”

So when Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, World Vision knew exactly how to organize an effective and immediate humanitarian response.

Due to World Vision’s swift, comprehensive, and effective work communicating the needs of those affected by the typhoon, the organization earned first place in the Best Crisis Management category of PR Daily’s 2014 Nonprofit PR Awards.

When a crisis such as Typhoon Haiyan occurs, World Vision must work quickly not only to ensure victims receive aid, but to ensure donors, sponsors, and government agencies see World Vision’s work. This is the only way the organization can continue to receive funding.

The nonprofit’s goals during Typhoon Haiyan were straightforward: Ensure World Vision was listed in 75 percent of How-to-Help boxes, get World Vision mentioned in the majority of U.S. media outlets, and position World Vision as a well-respected humanitarian organization. Here’s how the organization exceeded its goals:

  1. It planned ahead. World Vision’s media relations team preps for disasters long before they hit. It distributes a pitching toolbox to each team member, regularly trains its emergency staff on how to work with the media, and meets with media contacts throughout the year to reinforce World Vision as a source of breaking news during disasters.
  2. It anticipated the media’s needs. During a two-week span, World Vision sent eight press releases, gathered photos and video from people on the ground, and developed messaging that spokespeople could expertly relay in media interviews.
  3. It was a source of information for the media. World Vision pitched and scheduled live interviews with on-the-ground spokespeople, arranged for the media to visit the Philippines to witness World Vision’s relief distributions, and used social media to distribute human interest stories, photos, and video from staff in the Philippines.

World Vision’s work paid off. It received placement in 90 percent of How-to-Help boxes (more than any other nonprofit), landed almost 4,000 placements in U.S. media, and was mentioned in almost every major American news outlet. Additionally, World Vision raised more than $6 million in two weeks.

We congratulate the World Vision team members on their hard work: Johnny Cruz, Laura Blank, Amy Parodi, Holly Frew, and Larry Short.

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