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Think Before You Speak

Background and Objectives:
Launched in October 2008 in partnership with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the campaign directs teens to visit thinkb4youspeak.com to find out how they can take a stand against anti-LGBT language, take a pledge to "say something original" and send e-cards of support to friends. With the primary target of the campaign being teens, social media and online strategies have played a significant role in the program. The PR/social media budget at launch was limited, and therefore, the Ad Council and GLSEN needed to utilize a very strategic approach to gain attention.

PR and Social Media Strategy:

  • Broadcast (Entertainment Tonight) and print (The New York Times) exclusives
  • Launch timing with new research and coinciding with National Ally Week
  • Blog and online news outreach, as well as messaging in discussion forums (during launches and opportunistic)
  • Radio media tour
  • Development of new digital assets (such as a slur counter and a polling tool
  • Social media training
Results:
The campaign has received coverage in broadcast, print and online media outlets nationally. Following The New York Times and Entertainment Tonight exclusives, it was covered by Good Morning America and Whoopi Goldberg and Bill O'Reilly praised the campaign on The View and The O'Reilly Factor respectively. The launch was featured on PerezHilton.com, Ypulse, Gawker, the Huffington Post and countless others frequented by teens. ThinkMTV also featured the new PSAs. Since the launch, more than 8,800 people have signed the pledge, over 14,000 have viewed the Twitter Counter, 2,200 e-Cards have been sent out and there have been nearly 763,300 page views of website. On YouTube, the PSAs have been viewed over 3 million times. PR and social media strategies have been integral in furthering the reach of the campaign initiating a national dialogue on the prevalence and consequences of using anti- LGBT language such as "that's so gay."

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