SUPPORTING OUR MILITARY SERVICES & VETERANS
There can be no higher calling than keeping our country safe and secure. Of the more than 1,000 national PSA campaigns we have launched, none of them is more important than our work for our military and veteran communities.
Our work for the U.S. military goes back to 1973 at the outset of the All-Volunteer defense concept and since then we have distributed more than fifty national PSA campaigns for our military services and the non-profit organizations that support them. It includes all the active military services except Regular Army, as well as the Army and Air National Guard reserves, and the Department of Defense.
The Air National Guard supports and protects Americans in times of war, when terrorism lands on our shores, and in times of natural emergencies such as floods and fires.
We were retained by the advertising agency that handles Army and Air National Guard to distribute a national TV PSA campaign comprised of two different spots, one titled State Mission, and the other a more traditional recruiting spot called Female Pilot. The two PSAs were sent to 1,050 spot market TV stations and networks, as well as 500 leading cable systems through our CablePAK distribution service.
Subsequent to that distribution, we disseminated another TV PSA campaign via the same channels, which was comprised of three different PSAs, which addressed the positive reasons why young people should consider joining the Air National Guard.
The American Legion is like a lot of non-profits that have internal video production capability to create videos and PSAs, but they lack the budget to distribute them. We were approached by the American Legion which had this problem, and fortunately we had a solution – our CablePAK compilation service. Because we distribute several client campaigns together at the same time, we are able to greatly reduce the costs for individual participants.
For the Legion, we distributed a PSA campaign entitled: A Powerful Force, which provides a background on how the American Legion helps America through the four pillars of service: a strong national defense: caring for our veterans, mentoring youth and promoting patriotism.
ARMED FORCES CAREEERS.COM
To provide young people with objective career information on the armed services, we created a TV PSA entitled: Dedication, that recognizes the sacrifices and contributions of the U.S. military services.
We distributed the PSA in our CablePAK service, which
generated $661,236 in value and 16,000 user sessions on the website. The leads from the website were then referred to the appropriate military service for follow-up. You can see the TV PSA by going to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIWtL0KIXVs
ARMY NATIONAL GUARD (ARNG)
The majority of National Guard soldiers hold a full-time civilian job while serving part-time as a National Guard member.
ARNG’s state mission is well known, as they help local communities respond to fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, civil unrest or other emergency situations. As a military force, they have fought in nearly every battle and war around the globe.
Our work on behalf of ARNG goes back to 2003, when they retained us to distribute their PSAs to local cable TV systems. Since they also had state media coordinators who could distribute TV PSAs locally, we wrote custom software to display the TV stations in each state and the preferred dub format for each station. We also wrote custom software to provide TV PSA usage data for their primary target audience (18-24 year olds).
U.S. Coast Guard
Bill Goodwill as a consultant, and later through his firm, provided PSA consulting services to the U.S. Coast Guard for 20 years. In the early 1980’s Bill was the National Management Supervisor for the Coast Guard advertising contract held by a Washington-based ad agency. In this capacity, he had overall management responsibilities for a $2 million advertising contract.
It included everything from purchasing paid advertising in magazines reaching youth, to the production, distribution and evaluation of broadcast PSAs. He supervised 10 TV PSA productions in various locations around the continental U.S. as well as Hawaii and Alaska.
While working with Coast Guard Bill developed the first software for evaluating TV PSA campaigns which was later expanded to include all media when he started his own firm. He was also instrumental in developing a state-of-the-art telephone and direct mail fulfillment system to respond to applicant leads and inquiries resulting from both paid and PSA sources which is still in use.
Media source information is captured by the system so the national recruiting advertising department can obtain feedback on what types of media are generating recruiting leads and the leads are then instantly transmitted to the appropriate recruiter for personal contact via the Internet.
As a Goodwill Communications client, we have distributed and evaluated 12 TV and four radio PSA campaigns for the Coast Guard which generated just under $53 million in advertising exposure.
Disabled American Veterans
DAV is a nonprofit charity that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families, helping more than 1 million veterans in positive, life-changing ways each year. They provide nearly 615,000 rides for veterans attending medical appointments and assist veterans with more than 250,000 benefits claims annually, helping veterans attain more than $4 billion in benefits.
The underlying theme for DAV’s PSA campaigns is that America made a promise to our veterans – a promise that they would have the opportunity to succeed in civilian life when their tour of duty ended. They were promised a range of healthcare, disability and financial benefits. Yet, far too many of them have to fight for, or don’t even know how to go about accessing, their benefits.
We have handled seven national multi-media PSA campaigns for DAV, which include TV, cable, radio and outdoor media. Outdoor has become a very important medium for DAV, because we are able to target the markets that are most important to them and they are tangible, meaning the photos that we provide are proof of performance.
Included in these impressive results were two digital displays measuring 24’x 35’ towering over Times Square in the heart of Manhattan where up to 400,000 people traverse every day.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a vital mission which is to secure our nation from the many threats we face. This requires the dedication of more than 240,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security, to emergency response, from cybersecurity analyst to chemical facility inspection.
One of the tactics for keeping our nation safe is to enlist Americans in the battle against terrorism, making us more aware of our surroundings—no matter where we are in the country.
To promote that concept, we worked with DHS to launch a national TV PSA campaign with the theme: If You See Something, Say Something. The campaign shows common travel and vacation settings where it’s important to be aware of suspicious behavior, and it encourages people to report suspicious activity to local authorities.
We have completed very specialized consulting assignments for the U.S. Department of Defense.
In an attempt to make a smooth transition to the civilian world, DoD retained Goodwill Communications to launch a national radio PSA campaign called Get Connected – Operation Transition.
The campaign was comprised of three different radio PSAs – two targeting prospective employers, informing them of the merits and benefits of hiring today’s military veterans – and the third targeted departing service personnel, informing them of the resources available to them in finding work through Operation Transition.
For the Joint Recruiting Advertising Program, (JRAP) we distributed a TV PSA entitled: “Valerie Vigoda,” the basic objective of which was to promote a new DoD website at www.Todaysmilitary.com. It was designed to help parents and other adult influencers s gain a better understand of opportunities provided by our military services, and provide broad information on military opportunities.
Our work with the Marine Corps dates back to 1993 when they first participated in our CablePAK distribution program. After using that service for a year, the Marines retained us to distribute all their PSA messages for TV, radio and outdoor billboards.
This was a very controversial arrangement because the Marine Corps had a long
history of distributing their PSAs via their field recruiter force, and there was significant pressure from the field to continue that tradition. However, with increased demands upon recruiters’ time and the fact that there was no uniform, accurate method to evaluate program impact, the Marines began using Goodwill Communications to handle the distribution and evaluation of their entire PSA program.
One of the challenges of our Marine Corps assignment was that we not only had to break distribution lists and evaluation reports down to conform to their field recruiting office structure; we also had to produce “draft” distribution lists for review by the field. We wrote custom software to break all distribution and evaluation reports out by Marine Corps Regions, Districts and Recruiting Offices, and posted them to the USMC reporting website portal.
The other controversial aspect of our work was that the Marines had always done their own evaluation at the local level and part of the recruiter’s efficiency reports were based on the evaluation numbers reported by recruiters.
Obviously this is a very bad arrangement in terms of developing credible evaluation data because few recruiters would consciously report negative numbers if they knew their career would suffer as a result.
It did not take long for us to make a strong case for having a credible evaluation process implemented at the national level with both national and local reports. Our work for the Marine Corps resulted in nearly $41 million in verified PSA values.
U.S. NAVY RECRUITING COMMAND (NRC)
Subsequent to the Navy field work described earlier, Bill Goodwill became a marketing consultant working inside the NRC, which gave him a chance to review all aspects of Navy’s PSA program, which was completely dysfunctional
In our ten years of working with the U.S. Navy Recruiting Command, one of the more controversial recommendations we made was to re-position its PSA program, focusing less on a strong recruiting message and emphasizing its community service work.
There were several reasons for our recommendation, and it helped to generate millions of dollars in additional PSA support. Some of them included:
- Navy was buying airtime to generate leads, thus we believed their PSA strategy should, and had to be different to get their PSAs on the air.
- In surveys with TV public service directors, they told us that they wanted PSAs about important local community issues, and military recruiting PSAs did not conform to that criteria.
- Often paid TV spots were also being submitted as PSAs. If a station is getting paid to air a commercial, why would they use the same message and give the time away free?
Our goal was to find a way to get Navy’s message out to gatekeepers in a format that both represented Navy’s recruiting interests, as well as those of the local gatekeeper.
In doing research on programs that might lend themselves to a viable PSA strategy, we learned about the Navy’s Community Service Program (CSP). The CSP consists of Navy volunteers working in the areas of physical fitness, environmental cleanup, tutoring and mentoring at local schools, meal preparation for disadvantaged individuals, and anti-drug programs performed at the community level. This program appeared to be the perfect solution to our dilemma.
Knowing this was the answer to our problem, we convinced Navy to focus its future PSA efforts on this unique community program. There was some internal controversy over this change in strategy, due to the fact that the CSP messages did not impart a strong recruiting message.
However, our belief was that Navy’s paid advertising already fulfilled that marketing objective, and the PSAs should have a message that was relevant to local communities, because that’s what gatekeepers wanted. Navy advertising staff agreed to test our theory by creating a series of TV PSAs around the Community Service Program.
This graph uses evaluation data from the A.C. Nielsen SIGMA tracking system. The bar on the left shows the value of the first Serving PSA campaign, which generated 68 percent more TV PSA support than the recruiting messages which is shown on the bar on the right.
By demonstrating the many positive contributions that Navy makes to communities – and the nation as a whole – the Navy generated a positive image that was delivered in a much less expensive venue than its paid advertising program, and also used third-party media endorsement to help bolster its image. It also provided a tremendous boost to Navy morale, because sailors knew they were doing something to help improve the welfare of their local communities, while keeping the bad guys away from our shores.
U.S. Navy Reserve
The Navy Reserve offers citizens the chance to serve on a part-time basis, training near home until called to Active Duty. A reservist can pursue a full-time civilian education or obtain special military training while serving.
Today, the Navy Reserve is comprised of more than 20 percent of total Navy assets and, when called to action, can be found abroad, on shore, in the air or at sea. Currently, approximately 47,000 Navy reservists stand by to join the fleet when needed as active parts of the largest and most powerful naval force in the world.
Our first assignment for the U.S. Naval Reserve was a radio PSA campaign which was distributed to 5,250 stations. Due to the success of this effort, we distributed a second radio PSA, three TV PSAs (two English and one Spanish), print and airport dioramas which targeted nearly 17,000 media outlets. The Naval Reserve also participated in CablePak, our shared reel distribution service. The total PSA value for all of these releases is in excess of $6 million.
U.S. AIR FORCE
Goodwill Communications has been distributing and evaluating U.S. Air Force radio and television PSA campaigns since 1992 Our initial assignment was to merge
Air Force’s internal broadcast database with PUBSANS, (our internal media database), eliminate duplications and develop software to correlate Air Force’s six recruiting Groups and 31 Squadrons with our master database.
This enabled us to provide media lists and evaluation reports broken out by Groups and Squadrons, thereby giving management much better feedback on PSA coverage, and hopefully help us to engage Air Force’s field recruiters in national PSA distribution strategy.
The combined value of Air Force broadcast PSA campaigns is $102 million worth of advertising support.
THE UNITED SERVICE ORGANIZATION (USO)
USO is a non-profit organization, was created to raise funds to entertain the men and women who answer the nation’s call for military service.
Goodwill Communications distributed a TV PSA entitled: I’ll Be Seeing You to 17,500 TV and radio stations. It features archival, as well as recent footage from USO shows during World War II, The Korean War, The Vietnam War and The Gulf War. The musical track features a new arrangement of the classic I’ll Be Seeing You song – a popular classic from the 40’s. The PSA value of the campaign exceeded $24 million.
While suicide is a preventable public health problem, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the nation, and on average, 18 veterans per day take their own lives.
Goodwill Communications distributed a TV PSA entitled: Perspectives which was designed to inform the public about the growing crisis of veteran suicides and to promote a suicide hotline where vets could get help. We distributed the PSA to 1,200 local broadcast stations, as well as 200 leading broadcast and cable networks.
To promote the campaign we included an article on the campaign in our Broadcasters Cafe Newsletter, and we distributed the PSA via PR Web to major search engines like Google, Yahoo! News, and Bing, and to more than 250,000 subscribers through RSS, PRWeb’s Mobile Network, eMediaWire, Yahoo! News, Topix and Google News.
The value of the campaign was $6,036,282 which could have been much greater if VA would have extended Nielsen tracking of the PSA beyond the six-month minimum cycle.