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Marketing Masters Donate Skills to Non-Profits

Erica Thaler, the communications and marketing manager for COCA

One thing most non-profits have in common is they don't have a lot of extra money lying around for things like self-promotion. So a small army of Tallahassee professionals was giving three local non-profits a pro-bono marketing makeover last week (6/14).

The Pod in the Park Centre building on Park Avenue was abuzz with feverish activity. Small groups of advertising, public relations, Internet and graphic design people were huddled throughout the open office space, all under the approving eye of Giovana - better known as "G" - Williams. She's the president of the Tallahassee chapter of the American Advertising Federation.

"Today is the American Advertising Federation Brand-a-thon," Williams smiled. "It's a non-profit brand-a-thon to be more specific and what that is is that we ask non-profits to apply and we wanted to give back creatively to the community. We are a 501c3 and our big mission is to give back creatively the best we can."

First, Williams said, the area's non-profits needed to know they could take part.

"We put out a call for non-profits to apply and to give us an idea of how we could help them with non-profit advertising," she explained. "So we had about 21 applications and we knew we were going to pick three and have three teams of 6 creatives from all walks of life in the Tallahassee market."

Essentially a who's who of the Capital City marketing profession.

"From agencies, freelancers, in-house creative teams, marketing teams, media they all came together, three separate teams that are working together to fulfill the desires of three non-profits."

From the 21 original entries, Williams said the field of applicants was winnowed down to the top three. "The Capital Area Healthy Start Coalition, Panhandle Area Community Outreach and the third one was the LeMoyne Art Center"

And the creative teams then split up to work up customized solutions based on what each of the winning non-profits had identified as their most critical needs.

"The Healthy Start Coalition is getting a new logo, a new website design, a strategy plan, brochures and content for their brochures and website," Williams explained. "The Panhandle Area Community Outreach is getting a new logo, a new website, a strategic plan and all new content for their website and for their brochure/flyer/handout that will be completely designed. And the LeMoyne Art Center is getting not a complete re-brand, but more a facelift of the logo; more of a refresh. They're getting business card designs, flyer designs and website."

Work which, on an average day, Williams said would not come cheap.

"Probably on average each team is getting about $15-25,000 worth of creative and advertising work for free," Williams estimated.

You'll see the fruits of the various creative teams' labors emerging in various promotional platforms in the months and years to come.