By Hope Brown, APR
Principal, PublicCity PR
If you ask the average six-year-old what he or she dreams of becoming when they grow up, I’m betting “public relations professional” doesn’t rank high on the roster of responses…you know, probably somewhere just behind fairy princess or superhero, I assume. That said, even a “grown-up PR professional” can feel like they’re making a difference in the world, if given the opportunity. The team at PublicCity PR (PCPR) was recently given such an opportunity, thanks to our partners at Brogan & Partners, and the dedicated team at the Michigan Women’s Foundation (MWF). Together – with the support of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and the Detroit Crime Commission (DCC) – we launched Enough SAID (Sexual Assault in Detroit) – a public/private partnership and fundraising campaign, which to date has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions, some of which can be directly attributed to media relations efforts. More on that to come…
In 2009, more than 11,000 unopened, untested rape kits were discovered in a Detroit Police Department storage unit. The kits represented thousands of unprosecuted sexual assault cases, and potentially thousands of sex offenders still on the streets. Due to economic constraints in Detroit and Wayne County, limited funding has been available to date to address the backlog. From this need, Enough SAID was created.
The goal of Enough SAID is to advocate for additional public monies and raise private sector funding (the first known effort of its kind in the country!) from major corporations, local businesses, families and individuals alike. The funds will be used to finish testing the remaining kits, investigate resulting cases and prosecute the rapists.
On Jan. 6, 2015, PCPR executed a press conference to unveil Enough SAID. Resulting press coverage appeared far and wide…and specifically traveled far enough to reach the viewing eyes of Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, and her husband, Dave Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey. They sent a $25,000 donation to Enough SAID about a week after the launch. As Peg Tallet, chief community engagement officer of MWF told Crain’s Detroit Business in a subsequent interview about the surprise contribution, “National publicity for the campaign attracted the couple’s attention.”
See, so you can indeed make a difference as a media relations professional…no magic wand or cape required.
If you’re interested in learning more, contributing or helping to fundraise for Enough SAID, please visit www.enoughsaiddetroit.org.