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American Legacy Foundation

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Company: American Legacy Foundation, Washington DC
Entry Submitted By: ad*itive
Company Description: The American Legacy Foundation® develops programs that address the health effects of tobacco use, especially among vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the toll of tobacco, through grants, technical assistance and training, partnerships, youth activism, and counter-marketing and grassroots marketing campaigns.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - For a Non-profit Purpose

Nomination Title: truth® Orange Summer Tour by American Legacy Foundation®

Tell the story about this nominated campaign since January 1 2008 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

Every year, truth®, the largest national youth smoking prevention campaign for
teens, tours the country to directly reach teens with information about the
marketing tactics of the tobacco industry, the truth about addiction, and the
health effects and social consequences of smoking.  Given that 80% of current
smokers start before the age of 18, it is vitally important to reach young
people 12-17 with information that allows them to make informed decisions about
tobacco use. 

This year, two crews of seven young adults and their signature orange “truth®
trucks” made more than 60 stops across 30 states, traveling to some of the
season’s hottest teen-oriented events. 

One crew spent the summer traveling with the Vans Warped Tour®, an annual summer
rock festival featuring upcoming bands as well as more well-known rock acts.
Another truth® crew appeared at different venues including Tony Hawk's Boom Boom
HuckJam, The Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, Jubilee!JAM  in Jackson, Mississippi,
and ROCK THE BELLS 2008.

At each tour stop, crew members engaged in peer-to-peer interaction with teens
attending the concerts and events; held fashion shows, dance contests, freestyle
rap “battles”, and DJ lessons; and gave out truth® “gear” items like tee shirts,
bags, and bandanas. Each gear item  subtly reinforced facts about tobacco and
incorporated cool graphics and designs, creating sought after items that teens
were proud to wear.

The interaction did not end at the tour stops, but continued online at
thetruth.com where youth could read blogs written by crew members, see photos of
other stops, and enter contests. truth® collected  more than 36,000 e-mail
addresses while on the road this year, allowing teens to actively keep in touch
with the campaign. 

To further extend truth®’s reach,  the public relations team focused on
providing content for local journalists that would mirror what teens experience
on tour by bringing team members and/or the truth® truck directly to media
outlets. In a summer of grim news, team members also highlighted the “feel-good”
aspect of the work of truth® crew members – focusing on how this energetic and
committed group of young people were making a positive difference in communities
across the nation by helping to tackle one of the nation’s most pressing public
health problems. 

The outreach yielded fantastic results, including:
•             Total media impressions for the tour campaign, beginning in June and running
through August, totaled about 12 million.
•             54 of the 97 hits for the truth® tour were on television; 35 of those were
conducted at a local station with at least two crew members participating, if
not the whole crew and the truck. One local station in Spokane, Washington,
featured the truth® crew during every weather segment over the course of its
two-hour live morning show, netting four one-on-one interviews and 14 other
segments with the crew and truth® truck in the background.  
•             The three major tours – VANS, Tony Hawk, and Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, were
attended by more than 500,000 teens, and truth® distributed more than 33,000
pieces of gear.

List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:

http://drop.io/truth_stevies

Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the team that carried out this campaign:

Patricia McLaughlin joined the American Legacy Foundation as Director of
Communications in October 2002. In her current role, she directs public
relations efforts and organizational branding around a number of Legacy’s
national and regional programs and public education efforts. Much of her efforts
are focused around the award-winning and proven-effective truth® youth smoking
prevention campaign. She manages media and public relations opportunities around
the campaign, including directing advertising launches and promotion of the
truth® summer grassroots tour, handling spokesperson duties and speaking
opportunities, conducting media relations, promoting research results and
partnerships, and agency support around all efforts.