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Public awareness project update.

Citing its grasp of the mission, the depth of its presentation, the strength of its staff and the staff s enthusiasm for the assignment, members of the American Camping Association's Visionary Task Force selected Fleishman-Hillard, Inc., as the public relations firm to manage ACA's new public awareness campaign.

Three top members of the firm--Alan W. Akerson, executive vice president and senior partner; Donald G. Etling, vice president; and Account Supervisor Allison G. Hawk -- will work with ACA staff on the mission to increase the number of children who are able to experience camp.

Respected worldwide for its reputation of quality work, creativity, and results, Fleishman-Hillard has offices across the U.S. and in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Canada.

"At Fleishman-Hillard, we take a team approach, with clients having access to the best and brightest at all our locations," says Akerson. "It's a philosophy that has helped us achieve the industry's highest levels of customer satisfaction." Offering complete public relations services, Fleishman-Hillard develops programs to sustain and improve a client's image and provides targeted marketing communications programs directed at the consumer. Public relations counsel and community and internal communications programs and tracking are included in the range of services.

The firm is also rated top-notch by its peers. Fleishman-Hillard is the only agency to consistently rank number one or two in the annual "Report Card" rankings published by Inside PR magazine. This year, the firm tops the rankings in strategic thinking, talent and work environment.

Akerson has more than two decades of experience in public relations and newspaper journalism. His expertise includes strategic program development, community relations and minority relations initiatives, crisis management issues, promotional publicity projects and nationwide marketing programs for the Boy Scouts of America.

Etling, who is on the board of directors of the Wyman Center in St. Louis, joined F-H in 1991 after a 20-year newspaper career. He handles a broad range of issues from health care to international trade and provides corporate strategic counsel, investor relations, media training and media relations.

Another camp advocate, Hawk most recently attended a family camp at Camp Thunderbird, Minnesota. She has been involved in a wide range of client services and is active in community affairs.

In mid-March, the Fleishman-Hillard team met for a full day with the ACA national staff to become more familiar with the association and its mission. Among the firm's initial efforts will be development of key messages for the ACA public awareness campaign, identification of candidates to serve on a national advisory board, and groundwork for a national "Parental Challenges in the 90s" poll to be conducted later in the year. Results of this poll will be released nationally, along with information on ACA activities that address concerns stated in the survey. Fleishman-Hillard is also working to identify a nationally-known spokesperson for the public awareness campaign and develop national media stories in support of summer camps and the role they play in preparing youngsters for adulthood.

During this first year, the public awareness campaign will be funded from $200,000 of ACA's current $1.2 million endowment campaign. Beginning in 1995, the ACA's budget and finance committee is charged with the responsibility for continuing budgetary support of the public awareness project through 1999.

As you can see, the public awareness program is off to a running start. Sincere thanks are extended to the following members of the Visionary Task Force for their contributions: Chuck Ackenbom, chair; Cindy Beaudoin, Bill Cole, David Hilliard, Oscar Lopez, Fred Miller, Saul Rowen, Allen Sigoloff, Henry Thomas, Ann Woods and Joe Kruger, ex-officio.

Legislative Action to Fund Campers

by David C. Gray, legislative counsel

The American Camping Association is also working through legislative channels to achieve its public awareness goal.

The executive committee has voted unanimously to pursue a legislative initiative within the crime bill now pending in Congress. Several billion dollars are expected to be spent on youth diversion programs inthat bill. The ACA proposal would earmark a relatively modest $15 million to bring approximately 12,000 low income children from high crime urban areas to camp for an average of three weeks. Children would be required to participate in community programs upon completion of the camp experience.

This crime prevention proposal would authorize the program over a five year period. Separate appropriations would be necessary to fund the program.
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Copyright 1994, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:for American Camping Association
Publication:Camping Magazine
Date:May 1, 1994
Words:722
Previous Article:Celebrations and preparations.
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