Hispanic Outreach and Media Relations for McDonald’s

Challenge:

San Diego County McDonald’s has a deep commitment to the communities in which its restaurants operate, including serving employees, customers and families with diverse backgrounds. To demonstrate its dedication to the Hispanic/Latino community in San Diego, local McDonald’s owner/operators partner with Ronald McDonald House Charities to offer the Ronald McDonald House Charities/Hispanic American Commitment to Education Resources (HACER) Scholarship to high school students. For more than 20 years, McDonald’s has charged NST with using public relations to support this annual scholarship program and communicate McDonald’s commitment to education.

Each year, Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego distributes more than $20,000 in scholarships to local high school seniors who have at least one parent of Hispanic/Latino origin, strong academic performance and a personal drive to give back to the community, contributing to the goal of the RMHC U.S. Scholarship Program to provide resources to students in need of financial assistance to attend college. Since 1985, more than 31,000 students across the U.S. have received more than $60 million in scholarships across all programs.

Designed to help local high school seniors of Hispanic descent bridge the gap between the desire for a higher education and the rising costs of tuition, NST manages the local scholarship program from start to finish. This includes developing application requirements, assembling a judging panel of local community leaders, publicizing the call for applications, facilitating the judging process and recognizing/publicizing the scholarship recipients at school ceremonies. To support the application process, NST has explored a variety of communications channels in both English and Spanish, including:

  • Securing an ongoing media partnership with Entravision Communications – which produced and aired a PSA and social media content – and San Diego Family Magazine, which donated space in its print and digital communications to encourage students to apply for the local scholarship funds.
  • Forming relationships with local counselors, AVID program teachers and school district contacts to ensure teachers and administrators were aware of the scholarship funds available to their students.
  • Developing targeted social media content in English and Spanish, including promoted Facebook posts and sponsored Instagram posts.
  • Creating and implementing a media relations plan to encourage application submissions and recognize the year’s scholarship recipients.

Results:

150-250 local scholarship applications submissions annually.

News coverage in San Diego’s major news outlets, including The San Diego Union-Tribune and La Prensa, a leading Spanish-language news source.

Approximately 800 airings of the Spanish PSA across five of Entravision’s networks (2015).