>>>Padilla Speer Beardsley - Public Relations
Youth in Action: National Youth Service Day

The Challenge:

Youth Service America (YSA) hired Padilla Speer Beardsley in 1993 to support National Youth Service Day with a publicity campaign to: increase awareness of the benefits of youth service; encourage young people to serve; increase support for youth service in the public and private sector; and recognize the many young people who serve their communities.

The Strategy:

PSB developed and implemented a plan containing these key elements:

White House Event -- PSB worked with YSA and the Office of National Service to coordinate a reception, hosted by Hillary Rodham Clinton, on the south lawn of the White House, honoring outstanding young volunteers from the Washington, D.C., area.

Events in 13 Local Markets -- PSB worked with YSA and local organizers to help publicize local National Youth Service Day events.

Media Kit, Tailored Pitch Letters and Follow-Up -- An in-depth packet, including a statistical fact sheet, a recap of federal and state policy initiatives, profiles of outstanding youth and information on national and local market activities, was distributed to national, local and special interest media. We provided a wide range of appropriate story angles through tailored pitch letters and extensive telephone follow-up.

Celebrity Spokespeople -- YSA teamed up with "Melrose Place" star Andrew Shue and Keshia Knight Pulliam from "The Cosby Show."

Public Service Announcement and Mat Release -- Television stations in selected markets received a 30-second National Youth Service Day PSA. A national mat release was also distributed to community newspapers through a syndicated press service.

The Results:

Despite the burning of the Branch Davidian complex in Waco, Texas, the afternoon before our event, hundreds of media from across the country ran stories surrounding National Youth Service Day, reaching well over 100 million people. Highlights include: "CBS This Morning," Arsenio Hall, US Magazine and a story on the Associated Press national wire.