Best Issue/Cause Advocacy Campaign

Macaroni Grill triples its goal, feeding 3.2 million hungry kids

A win/win/win situation emerged as issue awareness was raised, empty tummies were filled, and the benevolent brand got a boost.

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When you think of pasta, your first thoughts probably go to appetite, not hunger—and certainly not the kind of persistent hunger that more than 16 million impoverished children face each and every day. 

Romano’s Macaroni Grill, working with Saeger Media Group and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry, set out to “Help Connect Kids to 1 Million Meals.”

It worked. Boy, did it ever. 

In just four weeks, Macaroni Grill’s 1 Million Meals campaign achieved 100 million online impressions and exceeded expectations—significantly surpassing its fundraising goal and connecting kids to more than 3.2 million meals.

For the concerted effort and for the success in raising awareness of the cause and the brand, this claims PR Daily’s 2012 Media Relations Award in the category of Best Issue/Cause Advocacy Campaign.

Katy Saeger of Saeger Media Group reported these successes:

  • More than $3 million in advertising media equivalency.
  • 47 media drops in 10 markets, resulting in 42 on-air mentions inclusive of television and radio, including KTLA – Los Angeles, 102.7 with Ryan Seacrest, and ABC-Dallas.
  • Success coverage in Mediapost, Examiner,, Restaurant Management News, Fast Casual, and QSR.
  • Amplified engagement with the Facebook community, with Macgrillgive gallery images generating more than 20,000 shares.
  • Top-tier blog participation including Parents magazine, Dash, The Daily Meal, Kalyn’s Kitchen, and Omar Tarak Niode Foundation.
  • 35,000 organic Facebook fans garnered in 30 days (not a campaign for likes, just general affinity for the brand).

And a lot fewer empty, aching stomachs. 

We congratulate Saeger Media Group, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, and Share Our Strength for an outstanding benevolent campaign. 

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