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Duffey Communications, Inc.

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Company: Duffey Communications, Inc., Atlanta, GA, USA
Company Description: Founded in 1984, Duffey Communications Inc. has developed a long-standing reputation for unbridled creativity and a keen spirit of entrepreneurialism. Twenty-eight years and more than 600 awards later, Duffey has grown into one of the nation’s leading public relations, integrated marketing and public affairs firms - and one of the oldest independently-owned, full-service agencies in the
Nomination Category: Communications & Marketing Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Public Service

Nomination Title: Giving a Voice to Victims of Child Sex Trafficking

In up to 500 words, tell the judges about the nominated campaign: its genesis, development, planning, commission, and performance to date:

Genesis

Child sex trafficking is rampant, with Atlanta, Ga. ranking as one the FBI’s top 14 U.S. cities for criminal pimping activity. A Future. Not A Past. (AFNAP) – a Juvenile Justice Fund campaign – was launched in Georgia in 2007 to stop the domestic prostitution of adolescent girls. Duffey developed the campaign’s name, brand and campaign strategy to take its mission statewide.

A key challenge in reaching the public is emotionally connecting them to the trauma victims face, as many ignore the issue or believe it only exists in other countries. In 2011, Keisha Head – a former victim of domestic child sex trafficking – volunteered to serve as AFNAP’s spokesperson, using her own story to increase media coverage and public awareness to bring about change.

Planning

Although a 31-year-old adult, Keisha still found it difficult to revisit her past on such a public stage. To provide her with necessary tools to tell her story, Duffey first media trained her and then wrote a full-length feature to distribute to media. The feature highlighted Keisha’s struggles as a runaway; victim of child sex trafficking; madam; prisoner; and – finally – voice for those like her who are exploited.

Officially launched in July 2011, the campaign used media relations to enhance public consciousness of the horrors surrounding domestic child sex trafficking and provided victims with a true voice and perspective on an issue few of us can comprehend. Duffey’s measurable objective was to secure 30 million media impressions, including one national media spotlight, through the July 2011 – June 2012 campaign.

Commission

Over 12 months: $14,400 in AFNAP fees with a total of $34,277 in Duffey bro-bono contributions

Performance to Date

- Over 66,021,000 media impressions (33,021,000 more than goal), including an Associated Press interview in July 2011, a rare Atlanta Journal spotlight piece in Sept. 2011 and a national Fox News story in Jan. 2012

- Beyond impressions, results of the media campaign included:- In Sept. 2011, Head was approached to be the voice of a campaign launched by nation’s leading anti-trafficking organization – Polaris Project – to encourage Congress to reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. As of Aug. 2012, this Act is still under consideration.

- In Oct. 2011, the Office of the Fulton County District Attorney recognized Keisha Head at its 14th Annual “Voice for Victims” Awards Ceremony, held yearly to pay tribute to those who go “above and beyond” on behalf of victims

- Head was one of eight “survivors” invited to participate in the 2012 Trafficking In Persons Symposium held in Salt Lake City in April 2012

- Head was selected to speak at The United States Attorney’s Office Human Trafficking Summit, held at Georgia State University in Aug. 2011

- Head was an interview subject in Atlanta’s PBA30 TV’s “How To Stop The Candy Shop” documentary, which focused on child sex trafficking. PBA30 was awarded a 2012 Southeast Regional Emmy Award for this documentary

- Head was chosen as the face of the May 2012 AFNAP “Take A Stand Against Demand” PSA

Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the team that created and carried out the nominated communications campaign (up to 100 words):

Sherri Fallin’s public relations, public affairs and marketing industry experience has catapulted the success of Atlanta’s Duffey Communications since she became company president and CEO in 2005. While keeping to the agency’s award-winning tradition of excellence, bringing home more than 600 PR and marketing accolades, Sherri has led Duffey to develop highly visible social responsibility campaigns for issues such as water conservation, domestic child prostitution, and child-on-child sexual bullying. She has instilled her passion for social change into the agency’s business model and its staff through the creation and execution of engaging, effective public service initiatives.