Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV), one of Atlanta’s most prominent Domestic Violence (DV) advocacy groups and shelters, hosted its fifth annual Teen Summit in February 2016. In past years, the summit had been organized and publicized by staff in addition to their everyday duties, with some assistance from board members. In 2013, the organization originally asked Margaret Lisi, PADV Marketing Chair and ST!R founder, to lead marketing and promotion of the event with the goals of:
- Increasing attendance above 2012’s 250 teens
- Improving diversity among attendees
- Creating ongoing awareness among teens and parents that teen dating violence is significant in Georgia
Summary of Marketing Program
PADV’s Teen Summit was growing slowly, and the organization wished to jump-start attendance not only among its most typical attendees (lower-income African-American girls) but also among teen males, additional ethnic and socio-economic groups, and other organizations that influence both male and female behavior in social settings. PADV also wanted to create a significant increase in awareness among parents; research shows that parents do not believe dating violence is an issue although state and national data refutes that idea.
To meet desired awareness and attendance goals, we developed a plan that included:
- A theme, “Expect More. Be More.” The message was pushed through all media, alerting adults and teens that they deserve respect and can be anything they choose. This theme was very flexible and resonant among our attendees and enabled a cohesive campaign.
- A direct mail campaign to past attendees, schools, churches and youth organizations inviting them to the event. The direct mailer also was distributed to additional organizations including local Boy Scout and Girl Scout Councils, Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta, and CoolGirls.
- Strong social media outreach using Facebook and Twitter targeting teens and adults over a six-week period prior to and after the event.
- Media and public relations through press releases, media advisories, community calendar postings and interviews arranged with radio and television personalities in the larger metro Atlanta area, and a negotiated live feed of the event on Georgia Public Broadcasting (http://www.gpb.org/padv).
- Case studies pushed through online media to the PADV website that showed girls how violent dating relationships “really can happen to someone like them.”
- A three-week online advertising and PSA campaign on Atlanta’s Cox Communications radio stations through a partnership with their sales teams.
- “Badges” downloadable from the PADV website that teens and adults alike could use as their avatars and push through their own social media interactions, taking a stand against DV.
- Outreach through metro Atlanta churches; middle and high schools and their PTAs; local universities; Boys and Girls Clubs of Atlanta and similar organizations; Atlanta Council Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts; Men Stopping Violence and other groups
- Lists of resources available online for teens and adults dealing with Teen Domestic Violence.
- The live event, which welcomed more than 500 teens and adult leaders
- Radio PSAs and calendar reminders, as well as online ads provided by the radio stations
- Press releases
- Radio interviews
- Direct mail
- Strong social media (SM), focused on Twitter and Facebook, which included daily posts, polls, case study links, photosharing from our event photo booth, and online SM “badges” for sharing and awareness on personal SM sites
- First year of ST!R management saw 525 attendees, with a waiting list of 125 people. In 2016, attendance was 750 diverse attendees
- Live streaming of the event on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s website through an agreement with the Department of Family Services
- Excellent reviews of the event, which received the highest ranking possible from 96 percent of attendees
- Earned media coverage on radio, television, social media feeds, and an entire issue of VOX for Teens newspaper devoted to the issue of Teen Dating Violence
- An average 239 percent increase in traffic to the PADV teen page during the six weeks of the campaign
- 172 downloads of the “Stop Teen Domestic Violence” social media badges in 2013; 429 downloads from the PADV teen page within the six-week campaign
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