25 Top PR Agency Community Involvement Programs: Part III
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25 Top PR Agency Community Involvement Programs: Part III

Paul Holmes

16. Dix & Eaton

The commitment to community service at Dix & Eaton runs deep: during the hiring and review process, the firm considers—among other criteria—how each employee fits into the firm’s focus on community service. For nearly a decade, Dix & Eaton has ranked as the leading giver among small businesses that contribute to the United Way of Greater Cleveland. The value of the firm’s pro bono community work was approximately $105,000 in 2003, with cash contributions over $315,000—in addition to the time people spend in service to the community. The firm estimates that its 68 people devote more than 1,900 hours a year, on their own time and on company time, to community service.

17. Dorland Global Health Communications

Dorland encourages employees to participate in charitable activities on their own time and on its own.  During the holidays, for example, it selects a local organization and coordinates employee committees to schedule volunteer participation. During the holiday season, for example, the firm partnered with a program for needy children. Agency employees purchased gifts that the children had selected, including articles of clothing in some cases, and delivered the gifts, along with homemade cookies and a Christmas tree, with one employee acting as Santa Claus.  The agency purchased many additional gifts and provided the funding for food as well as transportation to the organization, and also allowed time off for employees for the time spent organizing and conducting the activities. 

18. Burson-Marsteller

Burson-Marsteller teams work for hundreds of charitable organizations each year, and in 2003 the firm did pro-bono work with a value of $152,000 in the U.S. alone. In September of 2003, the firm participated in the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Walk-a-Thon in New York City. Employees in New York joined together, held a bake sale, gave personal donations, walked or sponsored walkers and received a Gold Level Achievement Award for raising $9,500 for the Foundation. Other recipients of the firm’s largesse included the 60 Plus Association; Boys & Girls Club of Chicago; the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence; Greater DC Cares; the Greater LA Zoo Association; the Homeless Children’s Education Fund; the National Multiple Sclerosis Society; PAX; the Ronald McDonald House of the Capital Region; Special Olympics Illinois; The Foundation Fighting Blindness: and the United States Mission.

19. Cone

Each year, Cone provides employees with 48 hours of paid time off for volunteer work. In September, the firm formalized its commitment to the community with the launch of Hours for Good, Cone’s own cause branding initiative and employee volunteer program. Cone employees have the opportunity to volunteer with two or three pre-selected non-profit organizations, and the agency sponsors opportunities for employees to consult with organizations on issues related to marketing, PR or their particular area of expertise. In September, the firm sent staffers to one of two projects in Dorchester for the company’s annual day of service. One team harvested vegetables with The Food Project, an urban garden supplying local farmer’s markets, while another ran a Clifford the Dog Book Fair for K-2 grades at the Winthrop Elementary School, making art projects, reading to the kids and having Clifford himself present each child with two books to take home.

20. Golin/Harris International

Through its Project Give initiaitive, Golin/Harris helps employees find volunteering opportunities, offers guidance to facilitate a positive volunteering experience, and provides flexible scheduling options to help employees balance volunteering with other work and personal priorities.  Staff in every office participates in selected initiatives from hands-on activities from pro-bono communications to fundraising support. And every year Golin/Harris recognizes the employee who best demonstrates a commitment to volunteer service to the community and its people with its Give Back award, providing cash to the employee and his or her preferred charity.

21. Carter Ryley Thomas

Carter Ryley Thomas is active within the community through various pro bono projects as well as agency participation on charitable boards. Projects and boards include The Healing Place (a campaign to raise funds for a facility to support the chronic homeless); the Salvation Army; The Arts Council of Richmond; Coalition for Greater Richmond; Go Read; Virginia Performing Arts Foundation; American’s First Freedom; Homeward and Instructive Visiting Nurses Associations. Every December, CRT closes all its offices for the day to allow individuals to volunteer at various agencies and organizations including senior centers, hospital pediatric centers, agencies supporting individuals suffering from head traumas and animal shelters. Since September 11, 2001, CRT has also participated in One Day’s Pay including volunteer activities in our various markets.

22. APCO Worldwide

In 2003, APCO introduced APCO in ACTION, a program that allows employees to choose the group or organization they would like to support and offer either their time—up to 4 hours per year company-paid— or money: up to $25 a year with a matching gift from APCO. In addition, APCO staff members organize a number of clothes drives, and volunteer activities to support charitable organizations in our neighborhoods and communities, including Charlie’s Place, WVSA, Race for the Cure, Lomardi Cancer Center, among others.

23. M Booth

M Booth sponsors annual clothing drives to benefit needy New Yorkers, working with the Bowery Mission program for homeless men and women. In addition, all staff members participate in a Secret Santa program organized by New York Cares. Volunteer teams read personal letters from children describing their holiday “wish list” and then select, purchase and wrap individual gifts for delivery to the kids. And plans are under way for a new community involvement program that will enable interested staff to volunteer on an ongoing, agency-sponsored basis with a community-based organization.

24. rbb Public Relations

rbb coordinates its volunteer program through Hands on Miami, a group that gathers volunteers throughout the county and assigns them to projects where they are needed most. Employees are given a calendar of volunteer opportunities to choose from each month. Rbb also provides pro bono public relations support for the group, as well as for the Miami Art Museum, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

25. Jackson Spalding

Jackson Spalding’s 25 employees work with more than 20 non-profit organizations. Managers and staff serve on the boards of the Boy Scouts of America, Atlanta Union Mission, Atlanta Youth Academy, Georgia Conservancy, Georgia Council on Economic Education, Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation, Northeast Georgia Tennis Association, Our House, Eagle Boys Ranch, Earth Share, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Home, and the Sophia Academy.

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