By Rhian Rotz
Today kicks off a weeklong global celebration of the pro bono ethic across all professions that donate their skills to make a difference. According to Taproot Foundation (2013 Pro Bono Week champion) pro bono work dates back more than 75 years when the Ad Council was born and with it the field of public service advertising. Two of the most famous campaigns are Smokey Bear’s “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires” and “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk.” Because of advances in technology, a lot has changed in the field of public relations, marketing and communications since those campaigns. Yet, there are three things about those iconic campaigns and the role of pro bono that are still applicable to the industry and this week.
Waggener Edstrom’s recent 2013 CreateAthon event, whereby 18 employees executed on four marketing, communications and PR projects during a 24-hour creative blitz to benefit the Children’s Book Bank, Tualatin Riverkeepers, Friends of Baseball and Oregon Dog Rescue, is a good example of the power of partnerships. Employees were energized and inspired by the opportunity, while organizations received much-needed marketing collateral, design expertise and strategic counsel to help advance their missions.