Tuesday, August 21, 2007

PR Style

I love it. West Michigan nonprofit Safe Haven Ministries is showing some real 'style' with their latest PR effort.

As a story in the Grand Rapids Press nicely describes, the organization--which helps battered and abused women--is working with hair stylists to identify such victims of domestic violence.

(Self disclosure--my wife, a social worker, has volunteered with the organization).

This is great for several reasons:
  • it is based on research that shows women will confide in hair stylists more than other acquaintances about personal issues. So they put good research to good use.
  • it is creatively appropriate to the objective;
  • it is about accomplishing the organization's mission, not merely generating buzz or publicity;
  • it shows that nonprofits can be savvy PR practitioners;
  • it once again demonstrates that PR is about relationships, not just publicity.

    It reminds me of a similar campaign by the Kidney Foundation a few years ago. They had research showing a higher incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease among African Americans. They also had research showing that the barber shop/stylist salons were popular social forums in the African American community. They had training for barbers and literature in barbershops to educate people about these important health issues.
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