Media Relations for Red Shoe Day Fundraiser

Challenge:

Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego’s annual Red Shoe Day fundraiser poses an opportune moment to earn financial support and raise awareness of the organization’s mission – keeping families close to their hospitalized child. Red Shoe Day is a community fundraiser featuring nearly 2,000 volunteers stationed at 150 major roadside intersections during the morning commute. NST was charged with researching, planning and implementing media and social media activities for the June 23, 2016 event.

NST developed a plan that included heavy media relations, media partnership negotiation with KFMB and social media activation. To guarantee the charity’s mission was never omitted from media coverage, NST and the client identified families who had relied on the Ronald McDonald House’s services and used them in media outreach whenever possible.

For pre-event coverage, NST developed a press release to solicit volunteers and raise awareness of the event in key San Diego communities. This included reaching San Diego’s Spanish-speaking residents through Hispanic media outreach to Telemundo and Univision. On the event’s big day, NST worked with the Ronald McDonald House to identify media-ready intersections where fundraising would be taking place, and pitched local broadcast reporters to cover the event live. Additionally, NST pitched the event to traffic reporters using a news angle of commuters needing to be aware of activity on the streets.

NST identified Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as opportunities to generate conversations about Red Shoe Day and the Ronald McDonald House. NST developed a social media promotion flier that was inserted into all volunteer training packets advocating for the nearly 2,000 volunteers to use the event hashtag and follow the charity on social media. NST managed social media accounts for the Ronald McDonald House leading up to the event and during the fundraiser leading to an increase in online conversations and awareness of the event.

Results:

Local independent news station KUSI and the local FOX affiliate conducted live shots.

NST secured Red Shoe Day information being distributed through the California Highway Patrol traffic representative for San Diego, who disseminates alerts to all media covering traffic, and Entercom Radio Station’s dedicated traffic reporter who provided live Red Shoe Day updates on three stations throughout the morning.

NST secured more than 26 TV segments, at least nine traffic reports, and three print/online mentions to earn a total of 1.3 million impressions.

Most importantly, NST’s media relations efforts helped raise an estimated $250,000 for the Ronald McDonald House, a 25% increase from the previous year.