pieces of earned media
coat distribution events
Over the last decade, The Auto Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation’s Driving Away the Cold program has become a much-needed annual event, providing more than 365,000 brand new winter coats to school children in the five-county Philadelphia region. With more and more companies organizing coat drives, it becomes increasingly more difficult to cut through the crowded news landscape and differentiate Driving Away the Cold and the work that the Auto Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia (ADAGP) and the area’s YMCAs have done year after year. To truly build awareness about the philanthropic program and sustain media attention throughout the month-long program, BG and the ADAGP work together to tailor messaging and organize strategically-located coat distribution events that appeal to both regional and hyper-local media in each county.
BG developed a media relations strategy that supports 20 events at YMCA branches spanning all five counties in the Philadelphia region and two milestone events – all held over four short weeks in October. The month begins with a massive coat distribution event held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center to support the Philadelphia School District and concludes with an event to support the Chester Upland School District at Chester High School. The focus of these two events is on the thousands of elementary school children in those two specific districts, while the local YMCA events provide the opportunity to give county press a localized experience with neighborhood children and area auto dealerships.
To begin the month, BG focuses on the program as a whole, pitching regional media on topics such as the number of coats being distributed that year, the number of coats distributed to date in the program’s history, as well as a comprehensive listing of all distribution events that will take place over the month. For both the Pennsylvania Convention Center and Chester High School events, BG invites broadcast outlets as well as online and newspaper photo desks to come out and cover the heartwarming visuals of volunteers and area auto dealers helping hundreds of children pick out and try on their brand-new coats. For distribution events held at county YMCAs, BG targets media in each corresponding county to tell more of a localized story. With no children present at these events, the story and visual focuses more on how the ADAGP and local dealers are working together to support residents in that county.
As a result of the events and community-based media outreach strategy over the last decade, Brownstein Group has garnered significant media attention for the Driving Away the Cold program and the CARing for Kids Foundation. Media coverage secured across all five counties has totaled 417 media placements and 36 million impressions from outlets such as major television and radio stations to local community newspapers.
In addition to a high quantity of media hits, coverage has been of impressive quality as well. Messaging regarding dealer donations are included in all coverage and several headlines, broadcast segments, and front-page articles call attention to the dealers’ valuable contributions. Furthermore, nearly 100% of coverage includes a photo, visual, or quote from a member of the Auto Dealers Association.
The annual event at the Pennsylvania Convention Center draws attendance from every major broadcast outlet, including multiple live hits from at least one station every year, while the Chester Upland event garners support from not only broadcast and print outlets, but also key voices from the Chester community.