To publicize the 3rd and 4th annual Truman National Security Project, an event held on Memorial Day at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. To stimulate greater volunteer involvement. To expand the scope of the event to include more roses placed at the gravesites of fallen warriors. To raise total corporate and individual contributions.
Working with Shawn VanDiver, the event’s founder, and the Truman National Security Project in Washington, DC, we drafted press materials that played to San Diego media’s love of all things military. VanDiver, a Navy veteran, was able to bring Gold Star Families, veterans and prominent elected officials together for the event. The agency wrote bios for selected spokespersons and indicated what subject matter each could address. This allowed each media outlet to focus on different aspects of the event (personal, political, emotional, historical, etc.). Individual pitches were sent to assignment editors and military reporters.
In 2017, Purple Penguin PR was able to solidify significant media coverage including pre-event interviews, live coverage, multiple spokespersons interviews — live and pre-recorded, and major feature packages. Every TV station in San Diego covered the event on Memorial Day. KNSD-TV, KGTV-TV, KFMB-TV and FOX-5 all provided live event coverage starting at 5 a.m. The San Diego Union-Tribune did a front-page photo feature. Online and print calendar placements on KPBS and community newspapers groups assured that San Diegans knew about the event well in advance. The media coverage dramatically supported the growth of the event related to attendance, volunteer participation and overall community awareness. From 2016 to 2017, the event expanded from 140 volunteers and 6,600 roses to 950 volunteers and 30,000 roses.
In 2018, the 4th annual Rose Drop Ceremony was an overwhelming success. 1,500 volunteers laid more than 40,000 roses at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery — Purple Penguin PR solidified coverage from all TV stations in San Diego, including, KGTV-TV (ABC), KNSD-TV (NBC), KFMB-TV (CBS), KSWB-TV (FOX), and KUSI-TV (IND) on their segment, Good Morning San Diego. Each outlet aired multiple teasers, as well as, taped and live segments.