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Susan Davis International

How to EnterCompany: Susan Davis International, Washington, DC
Company Description: Susan Davis International (SDI) is a full-service, woman owned/operated boutique public affairs/strategic communications firm with a 25-year history of producing award-winning campaigns and events. SDI, with more than 73 agency partners worldwide, services clients including multinationals, the U.S. and foreign governments, federal agencies, non-profit organizations, NGOs, and trade associations.
Nomination Category: Media & Marketing Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications Campaign of the Year - Non-Profit

Nomination Title: Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award

Describe for the judges the objectives, activities, and results of the nominated communications campaign (up to 500 words):

The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, instituted in 1996 by
Secretary of Defense William Perry, publicly recognizes employers who provide
exceptional support to their National Guard and Reserve employees. The award
process is overseen by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a
Department of Defense agency.  Fifteen employers are selected for the annual
awards and only National Guard and Reserve members and their immediate family
members are eligible to nominate an employer.  It is the highest recognition
given by the U.S. Government to employers for outstanding support of their
employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve.

SDI’s goal was to increase the Freedom Award’s visibility among the military
community who can nominate their employers and create broader public awareness
of the award, the nominated organizations and the recipients. Planning began in
August 2008 and culminated with the 2009 Freedom Award Ceremony in Washington,
D.C. on September 17, 2009 with Dr. Jill Biden as keynote speaker.

SDI designed the campaign to advantage all traditional and new media to target
key military and general audiences for awareness. Tactics included:

•             An international Freedom Award nomination season campaign from November 2008
to January 2009, targeted to Guard and Reserve members and their families,
incorporating earned print, online and broadcast media; an OpEd on behalf of
three National Guard and Reserve members in conjunction with Thanksgiving;
print, online and broadcast public service announcements; print and online paid
advertisements; the newly created Freedom Award Web site; and outreach to
military organizations and association.  Media impressions totaled over 15
million and campaign efforts resulted in surpassing SDI and ESGR’s 3,000
nomination goal, marking a 40% increase of nominations over the 2008 award season.

•             An earned media campaign from March to April 2009 and throughout 54 U.S.
states and territories announcing the 3,200 nominated employers, resulting in
more than 3.5 million media impressions.

•             Two new earned media campaign elements for the Freedom Award in May and June
2009, focusing on the 131 semi-finalists and 35 finalists.  With the addition of
these two components, targeted to nominee home states, SDI leveraged the Freedom
Award selection process to increase awareness of the award and highlight the
nation’s supportive National Guard and Reserve employers.  SDI’s efforts
resulted in a dramatic increase in public awareness for the Freedom Award,
resulting in combined total of more than 32 million media impressions nationwide.

•             An earned regional and national media campaign from July through September
2009 announcing Freedom Award recipients and leveraging Dr. Jill Biden’s
participation as keynote speaker of the award ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Tactics included placements of regional OpEds on behalf of Assistant Secretary
of Defense for Reserve Affairs Dennis McCarthy in the Arizona Republic, the
Boston Herald and the Kansas City Star; as well as a video news release
following the ceremony that was posted on Web sites for the Boston Globe, the
Houston Chronicle and the Orange County Register.  National news clips included,, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.  Media
impressions for the recipient announcement and ceremony totaled over 59 million.

List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your entry. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, []:

2008 Thanksgiving OpEd
•             Des Moines Register (see YouSendIt link)

3,200 Nominee Announcement
•             Wichita Eagle (see YouSendIt link)

131 Semifinalist Announcement
•             Indianapolis Star (see YouSendIt link)

35 Finalist Announcement
•             Times Picayune (see YouSendIt link)

15 Recipient Announcement
•             Newark Post, Omaha World Herald (see YouSendIt link)

Link for all above articles:

2009 Freedom Award Ceremony
•             ABC News –
•             Cambridge Chronicle, Sen. John Kerry –
•             New York Times Caucus Blog  –
•             CBS News –
•             Washington Post  –
•             Columbus Dispatch –
•             Houston Chronicle  –
•             KABC-TV - Los Angeles ABC affiliate
•             KYW-TV - Philadelphia CBS Affiliate    
Secretary McCarthy OpEd
•             Boston Herald –
•             Arizona Republic –

Press Releases   

Video Releases

In The News  

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):

Susan A. Davis, Chairman and Founder of Susan Davis International, is an expert
in strategic communications. For more than two decades, she has created and
managed innovative, award-winning media and public affairs campaigns for
domestic and international industry leaders, governments in the U.S. and abroad,
non-profits, and NGOs. Ms. Davis is widely known for her expertise in strategic
positioning, alliance and relationship-building, government relations and crisis
communications. During her career, she has provided counsel to government and
industry leaders throughout the United States, Europe and Central America, and
continues to counsel key public figures worldwide.