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Case Studies:

CAPA HIGH SCHOOL PROTEST:

The Pittsburgh High and Middle School for the Creative and Performing Arts, for which I helped to start a non-profit organization, was in danger of losing a quarter of its budget due to cuts from the State of Pennsylvania. Twenty-two part-time tutors who also lead bands, orchestras and choirs would be furloughed.  As a protest, the affected tutors, current and past students, parents and former teachers planned a protest concert, which needed to be promoted to the community. 

I ran the entire promotion for HONORING CAPA’S LEGACY: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow???  I secured a famous, local talk show host who had no affiliation with local television.  I also secured two stories in one newspaper and one story in another newspaper prior to the event, three days of news stories on one radio station, one day of stories on another – both with interviews, two radio talk show interviews, all three network news stations sent camera crews and interviewed tutors, current and former students and one newspaper sent a reporter to the event to write an article for the next day’s issue.  CAPA parents usually attend school events leaving many seats empty.  The CAPA Auditorium, which seats 375, was filled beyond capacity with about 400 people.  The PTSA collected $2000 in donations at the door that were not solicited in advance. 

 

New Cancer Department:

A small hospital in a small town opened a full-service Cancer facility.  They wanted to have a large grand opening so people could see the new facility and be confident they didn’t have to go out of the area to get great treatment.  So we wrote.  We wrote a brochure and two radio spots.  We wrote press releases for the new facility overall and for each new way they had of treating cancer.  Hundreds of doctors, neighbors and media people came to the Opening Day Celebration – just the draw the hospital was looking for.

 

An Ill Public Figure:

We walked a fine line of family privacy and the public’s right to know while a prominent, local, public official was in the hospital.  We molded the message, daily, telling the media, truthfully, what we knew.  Wrongly published information triggered our call to an editor with a reminder to take their source only from us. Rumors we heard were nipped in the bud.  Everything was cleared by the public official except for the time she was under anesthesia and in surgery.  The public official was thrilled with what she and her family heard during her 19-day stay in the hospital.

 

Two years of the Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund

This annual television show was in its 42nd and 43rd year.  Our assignment was to coordinate the television production for the three-hour broadcasts.  During our first preparation, we learned that expenses for the show were coming out of the money raised thereby reducing the portion available for services by the Free Care Fund.  So, we started asking for in-kind donations for one of the oldest annual TV shows in town.  Toys, food, snacks, life-size teddy bears, video tapes, table cloths and more started rolling in once the word got out.  Our funding efforts ‘raised’ $5000 the first year and $7500 the second.   

 

                                         Building a College Internship Program:

The owner of a closed-cable television business wanted to find free help that she might at some point
hire permanently.  The solution was the creation of a college internship programs which we marketed to all colleges, universities and schools that taught TV production.  We established a clear curriculum with outcomes, wrote job descriptions, and define a grading process for what the students learned.  The schools loved our approach.   We brought 25 students through the program in two years and hired 10 full-time.