The largest non-profit foundation devoted to protecting, preserving and restoring Yosemite National Park, The Yosemite Fund engaged Landis Communications Inc. to promote its partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) and to help encourage further funding support from the private sector. LCI worked with the Fund and the NPS on a number of ongoing initiatives – but especially the $13.5 million restoration of the trail to Lower Yosemite Falls. The Yosemite Falls project presented a significant opportunity to increase awareness for the Fund and for further donor support – but also posed several challenges.
LCI worked first to craft messages that highlighted the many successes of The Yosemite Fund’s work while providing tangible customer testimonials. LCI also worked with the Fund to leverage the timing of the dedication festivities with Earth Week for maximum news opportunities. A key differentiator in the restoration of the Lower Yosemite Falls trail is its newly-established accessibility for disabled people. LCI worked with DRAIL (Disability Resource Agency For Independent Living) to bring representatives to the trail in advance of the dedication – and then to provide firsthand testimonials which could be leveraged for the media and for future fundraising support.
LCI worked hand in hand with the NPS, staging a number of pre-dedication media opportunities, a first-ever media trip to New York to meet the media firsthand and a preview press trip for national travel and environmental media. LCI also recommended “holding back” a bit of news (“the final boulder being put into place”) to provide news on the day of the dedication. LCI solicited and secured a major media sponsor to help promote the initiative with guaranteed public service announcements, video b-roll and news coverage. In addition to proactive and heavy media outreach, LCI crafted and distributed editorials, public service announcements, video news releases tied to Earth Day (and highlighting other public/private National Park projects throughout the country) and mat releases.
LCI secured thousands of media placements as well as endorsements from President Bush, Governor Schwarzenegger, Senators Feinstein and Boxer and more. One single CNN placement helped spur more than $1 million in end-of-year donations to The Yosemite Fund, an all-time record. Media placements include: CNN, Associated Press, USA Today, National Geographic, Travel + Leisure, The Weather Channel, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Contra Costa Times, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, Newsday and New York Daily News among many others.