As the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation launched a fundraising initiative to purchase bulletproof vests for Chicago police officers, we drove donations to save lives by humanizing officers and illuminating their stories.
The purpose of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation (CPMF) is to support the families of catastrophically injured Chicago police officers, and its fundraising initiative directly focused on protecting the officers themselves. CPMF sought Grisko’s strategic communications expertise to develop a marketing and PR campaign that drove fundraising efforts to help protect officers from gun-related tragedies.
Research showed people were more likely to make a charitable contribution if they felt an emotional connection to the cause and were preventing a loss of life. Our campaign strategy, brand identity and messaging — “Get Behind The Vest” — focused on the power of one bullet and its devastating effects on an officer’s life.
The “Get Behind The Vest” (GBTV) initiative included a mix of creative executions. To create a strong emotional connection, the centerpiece of the campaign was a dramatic short film series. “Stories Behind The Vest” showcased first-person accounts from officers whose lives were saved by their vests.
A microsite served as an informational hub. Social and email marketing platforms activated CPMF’s base of support. Collateral was developed for events and corporate meetings while online display and outdoor ads extended the message. Grisko executed a social media initiative to extend the campaign’s reach and allow ambassadors to drive additional support through their personal pages.
Strategic media relations drove a PR effort that worked in synergy with marketing to amplify the GBTV message. Compelling pitches targeted reporters at all major Chicago news outlets and key community newspapers. These efforts, combined to elevate initiative awareness, including media coverage of a $1 million check presentation to the campaign.
Our eight-month campaign raised enough funds to purchase 3,367 vests – 89 percent above the projected one-year goal. GBTV received positive media coverage in all major Chicago print, broadcast and radio news outlets, reaching an audience of more than 4,375,000 people.
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