The Challenge:

Covenent-HouseCovenant House, a highly regarded national non-profit serving at-risk youth, had very little public recognition for the services it provides for homeless youth in the San Francisco Bay area. The organization was opening a new facility in a redevelopment area of downtown Oakland. It wanted to use this event to educate potential donors and volunteers, elected officials and the local community about the significance of their mission and programs.

The Solution:

Since so many worthy causes and issues are competing for limited media “shelf-space,” a strong, proactive public relations campaign was created to garner media coverage and gain the attention of public officials.

  • Prior to the grand opening of the new center, we reached out to media to highlight the organization’s mission and values, positioning it as one of the solutions to the problems of urban youth and homelessness.
  • We conducted media training for the local and headquarters team so that they were prepared to discuss issues in the most compelling manner and make the most of media interview opportunities.
  • To enhance excitement around the event and visibility for the organization, we recruited local radio personalities and community leaders to participate in Covenant House events and programs.
  • We used the grand opening of Covenant House as a news peg to generate exclusive “advances” at major media outlets.
  • Capitalizing on the visual opportunities of working with youth, we launched our campaign with TV coverage on the number one local station, showing Covenant House’s van working the streets at night reaching out to kids in trouble.

The Results:

Media coverage of the grand opening of the new facility represented a major breakthrough in community awareness for Covenant House in Northern California. During a three-month campaign, Covenant House received 20 media placements on radio, TV and in print. The news coverage included a front-page feature story in the hometown newspaper as well as mentions in Sports and Lifestyle sections of the San Francisco Chronicle and two stories on the Bay Area’s top-rated TV news station.

  • A front-page story in the Oakland Tribune
  • Two stories on KTVU, the Bay Area’s number-one rated TV station
  • Coverage on KISS, a top soft rock station and KCBS, top-rated AM news station in the Bat Area
  • Coverage in ethnic and community media
  • Coverage in San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Business Times