In early 2019, CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA insurer, partnered with The Crayon Initiative, a Northern California based-nonprofit that recycles used and unwanted crayons to preserve our environment and enrich the lives of hospitalized children through art and imagination. This partnership was formed as part of CSAA’s highly successful volunteerism program.
More than a half-million pounds of crayons are discarded every year, turning into a waxy sludge that clogs our landfills and never biodegrades. The Crayon Initiative collects donated crayons from restaurants, schools and homes across the country, then melts them down and remanufactures them, reducing waste. The recycled crayons are then distributed to art programs at children’s hospitals across the U.S., brightening the lives of young patients during their stay.
CSAA Insurance Group has a nationally recognized, award-winning employee volunteer program. In 2018, the company reached 100% employee volunteer participation – the highest large company volunteer participation rate in the country. Together, we set out to drive and promote CSAA’s volunteerism effort. The two-month campaign encompassed numerous CSAA branch offices across five states.
The client’s goal was to secure coverage for each crayon collection event that they hosted. Because the event was annual, many of our media contacts who had covered these events in the past, declined to cover the story again. This required getting creative and connecting with every media outlet in every town the Crayon Initiative stopped in, and connecting with those that hadn’t covered the events previously.
We focused our pitch on the visuals; the heartwarming fact that the crayons are going to hospitalized children and the fact that reporters can actually jump in and be part of the event (i.e. the sorting and melting process). The Harden Partners PR team consisted of three seasoned media experts, and the team’s strategy was to hit every media outlet (radio, print and television) non-stop in the week leading up to the event. We pitched the story of the outstanding work and support that CSAA Insurance Group provided to the initiative and found success and secured coverage for every event by contacting the media right up until the very morning of the event.
As a result of their determined efforts, the team secured multiple pieces of coverage in every one of CSAA’s branch office territories. In less than two months, Harden Partners secured 13 unique print and broadcast hits, (not including broadcast stations that ran segments multiple times throughout the day). A few of the top-tier print/broadcast stories appeared in/on Diablo Magazine, Good Morning Arizona , KPNX, Fox 10 Arizona Morning, KTNV, KXRM, KOAA, and more.
Harden was thrilled to be part of such a worthwhile and feelgood campaign as the Crayon Initiative.