SHOESTRING was selected as the PR and advertising agency of record for Salesian Missions in 2008. The initial work included a complete rebranding of the international humanitarian organization as well as a television and internet campaign called “What’s your mission?” To answer this question, the audience was invited to go to FindYourMission.org.
The Salesian Missions came to SHOESTRING with a large issue. Their awareness in U.S. was predominantly connected to an older demographic age group and their awareness needed to diversify quickly for their future. SHOESTRING met the objective by developing a comprehensive strategic marketing plan to position and build awareness with a new and diverse 25-50 age demographic segment by developing and launching a national awareness campaign called What’s your Mission?. The campaign was launched through a campaign website WhatsYourMission.org, a national CATV : 30 spot (link), CNN web advertising, news vignettes called In the Know segments and PR campaign via SHOESTRING.
The next steps included creating a crisis communications plan as well as media training for staff that had international experience working with the poorest children on the globe. Shoestring’s role and its work took on a new meaning when the earthquake devastated Haiti in January 2009 – including the destruction of Salesian Missions schools, killing hundreds of students. Working with contacts on the ground, Shoestring coordinated information with the media 24/7 for the month following the disaster. From getting word out in the early hours about those lost and missing, to working with media contacts such as CNN, NBC News, Nightline and the Wall Street Journal, and many more producers to tell the story of what was happening in Haiti.
The work continues to this day and the role of public relations to tell the stories of the work Salesian Missions does in 130+ countries is an ongoing effort, requiring daily attention with both proactive and reactive dealings with the media.
SHOESTRING also created and currently maintains a newswire service to cover the global work of this organization, including a special section on Haiti.
See a recently completed mini-documentary film about how the Salesian missionaries responded after the devastating earthquake in Nepal. Shoestring worked with a video crew on the ground in Nepal to produce this film.