DEVENEY, New Orleans, LA

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Company: DEVENEY, New Orleans, LA
Company Description: DEVENEY is a full-service marketing agency and thought leader in healthcare, crisis and lifestyle communication and internet marketing. We work in partnership with smart, demanding clients who are similarly inspired to lead, to win, to stamp their identity on their markets.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Events & Observances

Nomination Title: Arnaud's Teddy Bear Program

Tell the story about this nominated campaign since January 1, 2014 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

The Case
Leading up to the 2014 holiday season, Arnaud’s Restaurant approached DEVENEY with the desire to conduct a toy drive during the restaurant’s busiest time of year. To make this toy drive stand out above all the others, our strategy was three-fold: make an impact on the targeted community; bring awareness of the program through the local media; and elevate Arnaud’s through its Cause Marketing efforts.
Thus, Arnaud’s and New Orleans’ first ever Teddy Bear Program was born.

The Strategy
Although inaugural to New Orleans, the Teddy Bear Program has a proven track record in select cities across the country. It is a nationwide initiative that typically includes local businesses and organizations collecting teddy bears and donating them to police departments. Police officers then distribute the bears to children who have been traumatized due to tragedy or victimization. DEVENEY recognized an opportunity to benefit the national program by extending their reach to New Orleans, while also introducing the cause to local stakeholders.

Timing was a key component. Not only were the holidays an essential piece, but another reality was the public perception of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). There was frequent reporting regarding violent crime in the city. In fact, anything involving the NOPD was of top interest among the media and the community. DEVENEY identified this as another opportunity for the community at large – to see the NOPD in a positive light.
Upon finalizing the campaign strategy, DEVENEY aligned with the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation (NOPJF), the main support organization for the NOPD. Together DEVENEY and the NOPJF fleshed out the localized program and forged ahead in partnership, with the NOPD in full support and excited about the initiative.

Collection bins were placed at Arnaud’s Restaurant for customers and NOPJF Headquarters for the general public to drop off teddy bears from Thanksgiving Day through December 31, 2014. The call for teddy bear donations was distributed through a variety of channels, including:
• E-newsletters
• Social media channels
• Local media
• Word of mouth
• Arnaud’s Sales Office (notified groups who secured private dining space at Arnaud’s through the holidays of the campaign)

The tactic that achieved the most success was proactive media relations, which resulted in advance TV interviews that included our call to action for viewers to donate teddy bears.
The culmination of the first annual Teddy Bear Program was presented in the form of a press conference at NOPD Headquarters with representatives from all participating parties. Front and center were the mounds of teddy bears donated by supporters!

The Results
The results of the city’s first ever Teddy Bear Program, initiated by Arnaud’s, were overwhelming. In total, 500 bears were collected; double what was originally set out to collect.

Media coverage garnered as a result of the press conference – where the teddy bears were presented to the NOPD – reached an estimated audience of more than five million people and valued at nearly $20,000. All four of New Orleans’ local television stations attended and featured stories during primetime nightly newscasts touting the campaign success and Arnaud’s goodwill. A feature story and photos from the press conference also appeared on the front page of The Times-Picayune’s Metro section the following day.
Just days later, the NOPJF invited Arnaud’s to be their guests at its annual “Stake Out for Justice” luncheon. During the event, with more than 250 of New Orleans’ most influential business and community leaders, NOPJF recognized Arnaud’s and DEVENEY for their efforts to help them in their mission to support the NOPD.

In 2015, the goal is to triple the amount of bears raised to 1,500 by expanding the participation of the Teddy Bear Program to more businesses and organizations. We look forward to an even more successful initiative and to ultimately making a difference.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief features and results of this nominated PR program since the beginning of 2014 (up to 150 words).

1. Arnaud’s initiated the first ever Teddy Bear Program in New Orleans, benefitting the New Orleans Police Department, with grand success and local recognition.

2. Total bears collected during drive totaled 500; double the original goal. Teddy Bears to be handed out to children police officers encounter on duty that have experienced a traumatizing situation.

3. Press conference donating bears to NOPD garnered feature stories during primetime nightly newscasts and front page coverage in The Times-Picayune’s metro section.

4. Media coverage reached an estimated audience of more than five million people and valued nearly $20,000.

5. The New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation honored Arnaud’s for their support of the NOPD at their annual luncheon with more than 250 of New Orleans’ most influential business and community leaders.