YMC Case Study
Youth Mentoring Collaborative (YMC), by Mile High United Way
The Youth Mentoring Collaborative’s goal was to increase communication and cooperation among the youth mentoring organizations serving the Denver area. The collaborative sought to decrease service duplication, increase efficiencies through shared resources and to develop processes by which they could team to pursue an array of funding sources. The YMC also wanted a brand identity and messaging strategy that would help it increase the number of ethnic minorities volunteering to become mentors in its programs.
Sometimes, people know what they want — and this was one of those times. I simply used my creativity to execute with excellence. Here’s what I delivered:
I ensured consistent messaging and established a branded image that met the requirements of all of the collaborative’s supporting organizations.
Grassroots Events and Promotions
To create excitement and build momentum around the collaborative, I organized a community forum — a “town hall”-style meeting — where the collaborative’s key stakeholders discussed issues facing youth in Denver. The meeting, attended by almost 100 people, set an appropriate tone for the collaborative and clearly explained its mission and plans for advancement.
Partnerships and Co-branding
Networks can reap big results in the form of broad community support, partnerships, fresh ideas and resources. I identified local, professional organizations and government agencies that would be willing to support the collaborative.
Publicity and Media Relations
To develop and maintain a presence in the media, my public relations strategy had a three-step approach. First, I leveraged National Mentoring Month by tying our initiative to that national campaign. I developed a press release and other promotional materials aimed at increasing mentor recruitment and participation. Second, I developed a media-relations strategy that featured several community leaders, including then-Colorado state Sen. Peter Groff (a close personal friend), who at that time was serving as president of the state’s senate. Mr. Groff was among the luminaries who spoke directly about the importance of mentoring youth in television commercials that I produced. Third, I worked the phones to generate continued press coverage, which resulted in earned media our clients didn’t pay for.
I bought media placement for the collaborative based on research of the desired demographics for youth mentors.