Use of Celebrity or Personality

Company enlists man who mows lawns as its celebrity spokesperson

Mowing 50 lawns in 50 states to raise awareness for free service was the perfect hook for Briggs & Stratton.

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While he was in school, Rodney Smith Jr. began mowing lawns at no cost for the elderly, disabled, single mothers and veterans. That activity gave birth to the Raising Men Lawn Care Service, an organization that “keeps youth on a positive path while learning and understanding their value in society.” These young people now provide free lawn care to the same groups of people. Smith’s work has won PR agency Lindsay, Stone & Briggs first place in the “Use of a Celebrity or Personality” category of PR Daily’s 2018 Media Relations Awards.

To raise awareness of his organization, Smith undertook an effort to mow 50 lawns in 50 states over 39 days. At the same time, Briggs & Stratton, a manufacturer of small engines, was looking for a way to get consumers to pay attention to its products. Lindsay, Stone & Briggs saw the connection and hitched Smith’s 50-state tour to the Briggs & Stratton brand.

The agency managed the media relations effort in each market while also bringing Smith’s initiative to the attention of the national press. It also ensured Smith gave a shoutout to Briggs & Stratton, thanking the organization for its support of his mission.

The team pulled out all the stops when Smith visited Milwaukee, where Briggs & Stratton is headquartered. More than 50 employee volunteers joined Smith to mow more than 70 lawns in one afternoon. A microsite made information about the tour and the relationship available at a click.

The campaign attracted 267 stories, including national coverage from NBC Nightly News, ABC News,, and more. Social media drew nearly a quarter of a million likes and 12,000 positive comments.

Congratulations to the team of Amy Rohn, Jake Miller and Camille Sanzi.

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