A team of four communicators produces all communication for the 2,000-employee Children’s Home Society of Florida. For 2019, the team had three key goals: owning the conversation in earned media, positioning the $100-million-plus organization’s Community Partnership Schools (CPS) as an effective model to improve educational outcomes (priming advocates and legislators for a significant funding request in the 2019 legislative session) and launching CHS’s first ever grant-funded client recruitment campaign to raise awareness of the organization’s online counseling services and increase the number of client referrals.
How the team handled challenges like a departing CEO and two of the team members taking 12-week maternity leaves and achieved all its goals has resulted in its being named the winner in the “Nonprofit PR Team of the Year” category in PR Daily’s Nonprofit PR Awards.
The communicators undertook significant research to develop their strategies and tactics, which included opinion pieces authored by both executives and board members and pitching stories related to CHS’s four core priorities (child welfare, early childhood education, mental health care and community solutions/community partnership schools).
The efforts paid off in a big way, with CHS dominating the media conversation benchmarked against competitors, averaging 1.3 unduplicated media stories each week, more than 348% than its closest competitor and 647% more than other competitors. The opinion pieces—focusing on a Johns Hopkins study promoting the CPS model—were picked up in every market to which they were distributed (and even some the team didn’t approach), resulting in $7.3 million in recurring funds from the legislature (which was also the result of CHS’s advocacy work).
The team also produced three short social media videos to help launch the grant-funded client recruitment campaign, which along with social media ads for Facebook/Instagram and audio ads for Spotify reached nearly 1.8 million unique users.
Congratulations to Heather Morgan, Allison Curry, Heather Dauphiny and Andrea McNally.