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Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

The Client

Through local fundraising events, bake sales and online merchandise sales, national not-for-profit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer inspires individuals, organizations, and businesses to join in the fight against pediatric cancer by raising the funds and awareness necessary to help find a cure. Since its inception, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has granted nearly $4 million to leading pediatric cancer research facilities including Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Texas Children’s Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Center.

The Challenge

Despite its successes, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer had limited resources to elevate awareness of its mission, accomplishments and overall history. It also faced a crowded landscape of charitable organizations chasing a limited amount of regional and national PR opportunities to gain exposure. After four years of existence, the organization was at a crossroads, on the cusp of playing a leading role in advancing new and improved therapies for pediatric cancer, it was more important than ever to ensure their story was heard.

The Strategy

Walker Marketing determined that the best way for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer to increase public awareness of the organization and reach new audiences was to come up with a strategic plan that would encompass a broad public relations campaign including national media outreach and social media.

Tactics

Media Outreach

Walker Marketing immediately began reaching out to national print and broadcast media to introduce Cookies for Kids’ Cancer to key reporters. As a result, several print and online outlets featured the organization and highlighted ways individuals can support its mission. One key achievement of this initial outreach included a segment on NBC’s TODAY show featuring Cookies for Kids’ Cancer founder, Gretchen Witt. In addition to relaying the organization’s mission, philosophy and achievements, Gretchen Witt conducted an on air cooking segment with Kathie Lee and Hoda and showcased some of the merchandise available for purchase on the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer website.

Social Media

With an existing social media presence, Walker Marketing identified ways to enhance Cookies for Kids’ Cancer’s social media engagement to gain further attention and interaction among its community. Repurposing local and national media coverage, highlighting local bake sale hosts, telling inspirational stories and utilizing contests and giveaways were all successful in achieving this goal. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, Walker Marketing helped Cookies for Kids’ Cancer grow its Pinterest following, which served as an inspiration for Ladies’ Home Journal’s “World’s Biggest Cookie Swap” that mobilized millions of home cooks to bake and virtually swap cookies in support of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

The Result

The public response to the TODAY appearance was astonishing. In addition to reaching 1.8 million viewers, the unprecedented exposure increased bake sale registrations by more than 50 percent, tripled website traffic, and generated online sales of nearly $30,000 in one day — the most successful one-day outreach initiative in the organization’s history. Additionally, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer’s social media presence has increased significantly, resulting in hundreds of new followers monthly.