- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 30, 2005

A group of District-area public relations professionals who donated their time to the Center for Child Protection and Family Support has seen significant results for their award-winning work.

Efforts by the Independent Public Relations Alliance (IPRA) led to heightened awareness of the center, which received $650,000 in grants as a result of the campaign, the group said.

In January 2004, the public relations executives chose the Center for Child Protection and Family Support to receive the free one-year service out of a list of 16 applicants.

“That selection validated the importance of the work we do,” said Joyce Thomas, president and chief executive officer of the 18-year-old center, which focuses on the safety of children.

A team of 18 IPRA members volunteered 2,000 hours to develop and implement a strategic communications plan for the center.

That amounts to about $250,000 worth of time, said Sandra Hannon, co-manager of the project.

The plan included a one-day regional forum on child victimization and child sexual abuse, as well as media training for the center’s executives, increased visibility, a revamped Web site (www.stopchildabusenow.org) and the creation of public-service announcements in English and Spanish.

The center received media coverage on such broadcast outlets as National Public Radio, WTOP and CNN Spanish Radio and in such publications as the Journal of Pediatric Surgery and Parenting magazine.

The public relations team received honors in the 2004 Magellan Awards, a publicity campaign competition sponsored by the League of American Communications Professionals.

IPRA, which is part of the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, will continue the pro bono work this year.

Star-studded show

Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide is putting the finishing touches on a red dress fashion show for Friday in New York.

The red dress is the universal symbol for the Heart Truth, a public-awareness campaign for women and heart disease that was created by the District-based public relations firm.

Heart disease is the top killer of women.

The annual fashion show is one of the highlights of the campaign’s yearlong effort to build awareness.

The Red Dress Collection 2005 Fashion Show, which is being held during high-profile Fashion Week, showcases red dresses designed exclusively for the campaign.

The 26 participating fashion designers include Badgley Mischka, Donna Karan, Kenneth Cole, Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, Betsey Johnson and Marc Jacobs.

Sporting dresses will be 26 celebrities, including Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, singer Sheryl Crow, “American Idol” judge Paula Abdul, supermodel Rachel Hunter, “Sex and the City” author Candace Bushnell and Olympic gymnast Carly Patterson.

The Heart Truth campaign is sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which is part of the government’s National Institutes of Health.

Got news? Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Advertising & Marketing runs every other Monday.

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