As a member of Punch In, our business strategy is simple: Generate as much money as possible for Seattle’s homeless by increasing customer loyalty for local coffee shops. In order to do this, we need to create a connection for customers that by going to certain coffee shops they will be helping local homeless citizens. The basis of our marketing campaign will be that by purchasing 5 cups a coffee at a local coffee shop, the shop will donate a free meal to a local homeless person in need. Clearly this is something almost everyone could agree is a good thing. However, getting this to hit home is where our PR campaign takes action.
In order for people to see the real effect of their loyalty to these coffee shops, we could hold an event whereby every cup of coffee people purchase on a certain day, a physical bag lunch is moved right before their eyes from a staging area into a donation truck which will transport the food to local homeless shelters. Signs and posters would be positioned within the shop to help consumers understand what is going on. In addition, we would make the volume of food being given very apparent by leaving the back of the truck open so everyone could see just how much food was really being donated. To reach the most consumers possible, our campaign would likely need to reach television media reporters such as King 5 or Kiro 7. Thus, we would invite local media through a press release to attend the event and even offer them a free cup of coffee so that they could witness for themselves how a coffee purchase translates into food for the homeless. The goal of this marketing campaign would ultimately be a feature on an evening news program showing how our program has a positive effect in the Seattle community and why people should go to the coffee shops that feature Punch In.
The idea for this PR campaign actually came from an evening news report on Serve Marketing’s campaign to end teen homelessness in Milwaukee. Instead of simply telling people just how important it was to donate money to local charities to end this growing problem, the organization built full-sized poster boards of homeless people sleeping in different positions and then littered them throughout the city to provide people with visual reminders of just how prolific teen homelessness can be. Along with the full-sized cutouts, the organization also included slogans and messages directed towards reducing teen homelessness through citizen actions. This campaign, not only reached social media such as You Tube, Facebook and Twiter,but was also featured on traditional media channels such as the evening news in Milwaukee. It was also effective in getting people to donate to local charities.