COVID-19 put unprecedented demands on Food Bank of the Rockies to procure and distribute more food than ever, and the nonprofit needed to communicate that story to people in need, media, volunteers, partners and donors.
Food Bank of the Rockies brought in GroundFloor Media (GFM) to help plan and execute an earned media relations campaign.
Food Bank of the Rockies received extensive media coverage around the many programs it supports, its partners and the critical role volunteers play.
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, Food Bank of the Rockies was overwhelmed with demands for food. What’s more, it was being inundated with media requests for how the organization would be helping fight food insecurity in Colorado and Wyoming.
While challenging, the leadership team recognized that ongoing media coverage depicting how volunteers and financial support were desperately needed would ultimately assist the nonprofit in feeding people. Media awareness was also critical to let people know (many of whom had never accessed food assistance before) where they could get healthy food for themselves and their families.
GFM was brought on board to support the already stretched and small team overseeing media and social media communications. GFM initially held 15-minute daily huddles to review immediate media opportunities to ensure that Food Bank of the Rockies was responsive and recognized as a go-to-source around hunger relief. GFM conducted extensive pitching to media to promote numerous events including a mobile pantry at Empower Field at Mile High, human interest stories of volunteers going above and beyond, and companies such as Southwest Airlines donating pallets of in-flight snacks. There was no shortage of story ideas, and the media welcomed the opportunity to share positive coverage with its audiences, amid all the more sobering coverage of COVID-19.
Food Bank of the Rockies was included in hundreds of earned media stories. The media coverage, which almost always included key messages about the nonprofit and how people could support it, helped tell the story of hunger in Colorado and Wyoming. The coverage expanded what people knew about Food Bank of the Rockies to showcase the business partners it works with, the programs it supports like feeding children who were not receiving meals at school and the enormous logistics of distributing food to pantries in rural areas. In addition, the organization increased donations while simultaneously providing three times the amount of food that it normally collects and distributes.