People outside the industry often regard publicists as crafty spin-meisters. What is little appreciated is just how much PR pros do to provide pro bono assistance to worthy causes.
The Weber Shandwick Social Impact Project is a perfect example of this, harnessing the talents of a global agency to a plan to bring about change for the good.
The worldwide program and depth of its commitment explains why Weber Shandwick beat out several other excellent projects to win Best Pro Bono Campaign/Project in PR Daily’s 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards.
In January of 2013, Weber Shandwick encouraged the company’s offices worldwide to do pro bono work that helps communities within the areas of education, technology, and environment and sustainability, the agency reports.
In addition to building partnerships for good, the initiative unified existing global pro bono efforts and instilled employee pride and engagement.
Want to get something done? Make it a priority. The Weber Shandwick Social Impact Project became a must-do for senior leaders. Chief Executive Andy Polansky socialized the project with regional senior leadership, planning through a project page on SocialText, the companywide internal social network.
And good results followed. Among the beneficiaries:
- Austin Creative Reuse, a nonprofit fostering conservation and reuse through creativity, while educating and building a strong community.
- Citizen Schools, a Boston nonprofit that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities across the country.
- United Way Australia, an umbrella organization that supports 300 grassroots community groups across the country. In particular, this helped United Way’s early literacy effort, ReadLearnSucceed.
- World Wildlife Fund-Indonesia, a conservation organization working to stop environmental degradation and conserve biodiversity. Weber Shandwick and WWF-Indonesia partnered to help shape the campaign around WWF’s global 50th anniversary.
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