“I had several journalists say that we’re a best-kept secret,” says Jeff Nene, Director of Public Relations for Convoy of Hope. “People just didn’t know we were here. So we had to find ways to tell our stories to new journalists and new members of the media. Vocus and PRWeb help us do it.”
Convoy of Hope is a nonprofit founded in 1994 that organizes feeding initiatives, community outreaches and disaster responses worldwide. Based in Springfield, Missouri, they’ve helped more than 52 million people across the globe.
“Our stories are our greatest tool,” Jeff says. “If I can tell somebody the story of the little boy that was impacted by the fact that we were able to feed him, then people look at that and respond and say they want to help us feed the next child. We need to get that story in front of people.”
“When you get major publicity hits like these, a snowball effect begins.”
“When we started using PRWeb news releases, we went from using an excel spreadsheet with maybe 100 journalists on it from around the country to having an almost infinite number at our fingertips,” he says. “We’re also able to target who our news is going to as well.”
“When we got picked up for the first time by a major organization like that, I wanted to jump up out of my chair and cheer.” Jeff recalls. “And beyond that excitement, there’s a deep satisfaction, because for us, this is a mission.”
“When you get these major publicity hits, the snowball effect begins,” Jeff says. “This group sees it and they post it, and then when they post it, somebody else will see it and post it. So it just keeps trickling down and the multiplier effect that has come as a result of PRWeb has been phenomenal.”
PRWeb also generates coverage for Convoy of Hope long after stories are published, from journalists who use Google and the PRWeb news center to research stories.
“There are also a ton of reputable journalists who go to PRWeb doing searches on a particular topic,” Jeff explains. “In our case, for example, we might have a story dealing with the issue of poverty. A journalist will go to PRWeb, search for poverty, and pull up all the press releases on that topic. In this way, we have got our story to people who we didn’t know, and who didn’t know us.”
As well as coverage, PRWeb has helped Jeff win the approval of Convoy of Hope executives. “When it came time for us to renew our contract with Vocus and PRWeb, I had to make a presentation for our executives and our Board of Directors,” he says. “Once they saw the effect PRWeb was having on our organization and its visibility, there was no discussion. They approved it right on the spot. ‘Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it’, they said. ‘Do it more.’”
“The accolades from your boss are always nice,” Jeff says. “But for me, the bigger satisfaction is seeing the increase in the number of stories that are written about us, the number of websites that are carrying our news, and people taking the content we provide through a press release and re-posting it.”