man ringing red bell outside of Salvation Army red kettle

The Salvation Army

Content Campaign

Media Relations

Social Media

The Challenge

Few things say “Holiday Season” more than The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles, found on street corners and in front of stores from coast to coast. The money that’s collected by bellringers standing at the kettle stands is necessary to help pay for the many programs that The Salvation Army runs throughout the year. But in 2020, this essential fundraising effort was threatened by COVID-19. Many stores opted not to allow the kettles for social distancing reasons, and fewer people were walking city streets. The Salvation Army of Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware needed to publicize the availability of the first-ever “online or virtual Red Kettle” in an effort to “Rescue Christmas” and to drive awareness that the need for its services was greater than ever due to the pandemic.

The Approach

D+P developed an integrated strategy involving media relations, creative owned content, advertising, social media and op-eds throughout the far-flung division. We helped organize media events and interviews, while our content team produced feature stories about various activities and personalities in the division. Many of these owned stories were used by media outlets. D+P also developed and designed a “12 Days of Christmas” social media campaign for The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia that highlighted 12 specific programs that benefit from Red Kettle donations.

The Results

These efforts led to a surge in positive PR throughout the division in newspapers, websites, TV and radio that directly impacted the fundraising efforts of The Salvation Army. From November 2020 to January 2021, D+P secured 101 stories in TV, print and online media, with a total online news audience of approximately 1.7 million readers and a broadcast audience of approximately 2.4 million viewers.

These efforts helped raise more than $3.5 million for the 2020 Red Kettle campaign.