Cause-Related Marketing

Recalibrating annual legislative breakfast draws new attention to child abuse in Pennsylvania

Multiple coordinated tactics raised awareness, increased reports.

PA Blue Ribbon Champion for Kids - Logo -

Ten years of legislative breakfasts in Pennsylvania during National Child Abuse Prevention Month, designed to raise money and awareness for the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance (PFSA), had resulted in no reduction in reports of child abuse. Working with Nell McCormack Abom Communications, PFSA looked to reinvigorate the program that targeted “mandated reporters”—those required under law to report child abuse—along with the general public. Its success has earned first place in the “Cause-Related Marketing” category of Ragan’s 2017 PR Daily Awards.

The team devised an entirely new campaign: PA Blue Ribbon Champion for Kids. The 2017 breakfast became a “Rally for Children” at the state capitol. The campaign also sought to increase the organization’s social media following, double its fundraising, and secure at least 25 nominations for the new Blue Ribbon Champion for Kids Awards. 

To achieve these lofty goals, all geared toward raising awareness of child abuse and how people can report it via ChildLine—Pennsylvania’s 24/7 hotline to report maltreatment of children—the agency recruited a local TV station to share its “The More You Know” PSA campaign, and aligned with iHeartMedia (the largest media organization in central Pennsylvania) for help promoting the event at the state capitol. 

For the event itself, 4,000 blue ribbon flags were installed in front of the capitol and on light poles on the street leading to the building. Direct marketing was brought to bear, along with paid media, and a viral volunteer event to plant the flags. 

The campaign resulted in a significant increase of donations, as well as nearly tripling participation at the annual event. Other results included 559 earned media reports and an increase in social media followers. Most significantly, the number of reports to ChildLine increased as a result of heightened awareness of child abuse and reporting.

Congratulations to PFSA president Angela Liddle, the entire PFSA team, sponsors, and agency president Nell McCormack Abom.


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