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Re-Connecting Kids with Nature

Background and Objectives:
In June 2009, the Ad Council and the USDA Forest Service launched a national campaign primarily designed to reach "tweens" (children aged 8-12) and their parents in an effort to encourage children to get outside and experience nature first-hand.
The goals of the PR/social media program were to initiate a national dialogue among parents and children about the importance of spending time outdoors, develop and expand online communities of individuals already engaged in the issue, create e-advocates who would help spread the word, and direct traffic to the campaign website.

PR and Social Media Strategy:

  • Launch events timed to National Get Outdoors Day
  • National print exclusive
  • Satellite TV and radio media tours
  • Ongoing social media, including the creation of a character named Cheecker on Twitter
  • Photo/art contest with The North Face
  • Partnership with the Miss America Organization

Results:
As a result of significant PSA launch activities, and ongoing outreach via social media, the campaign has been covered continuously throughout its first two years. Broadcast media tours included over 30 interviews each year and news coverage has included USA Today, National Geographic for Kids, Café Mom and other significant placements. Cheecker has more than 2,400 followers and he is one of the Ad Council's most popular spokesanimals on Twitter. His messages are continually re-tweeted by influential individuals and groups that have an interest in getting children out in nature.

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