2019 Community Champion Awards
Christian City is a Georgia-based, nonprofit organization that provides vibrant living, life-changing hope and a community of loving friends through housing, health care and crisis intervention for children, families and adults. The 500-acre campus is in Union City, about 15 minutes south of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The organization has seven major programs that include a residential program for children under 18, foster care and adoption programs, programs for runaway and homeless youth, graduate transition for independent living, senior living programs, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers and volunteer programs.
Christian City’s Safe Place Runaway and Homeless Youth Program is part of the National Safe Place program which serves youth who are at risk of falling pray to sex traffickers. Christian City provides immediate response to pick up and transport any child is on the street or homeless and provides intervention and advocacy to find a permanent solution to whatever led to the child’s homelessness.
Christian City, well known in the Union City and Fayetteville areas, tasked HBI with raising its profile in the Atlanta community. HBI and Christian City decided a fundraiser event held in the city of Atlanta would be the perfect solution. The proceeds of the event would go to Christian City’s Safe Place Runaway and Homeless Youth Program, which serves children from the metro Atlanta area to South Georgia. Statistics show in the first 48 hours on the street, over 30% of boys are girls are unknowingly lured by traffickers into the sex trafficking industry. With over 3,300 homeless children in Atlanta from ages 14-25, this issue hits home to many individuals who live in these areas of Georgia. The goal for this project was to establish an annual fundraising initiative for Christian City’s ongoing work in the state and support its Safe Place Runaway and Homeless Youth program.
HBI coordinated with Christian City to create an engagement plan as a guide for media and community engagement. With HBI’s help in 2019, Christian City created the Community Champion Awards (CCA) named in honor of individuals and businesses that have demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment toward the betterment of the Atlanta community. CCA recognizes an individual, nonprofit and corporate organization for their substantial contributions to the Atlanta community. To raise its profile in the Atlanta community, HBI knew highlighting the incredible work Christian City does for those in need, and especially for the children all over Atlanta, would appeal to many individuals inside and outside of Atlanta. This event would be used to raise awareness of Christian City and its many programs in the Atlanta community. In doing this, the event would meet the organization’s goal of raising money for the Christian City’s Safe Place Program through sponsorships and garnering participation from the Atlanta community.
Christian City and HBI identified an executive committee (to serve as ambassadors for the awards ceremony), the honorees and the emcee. HBI worked with Christian City to craft its messaging and create all event materials from scratch in order to promote the Christian City programs. This included event sponsorship packets, fact sheets, event programs and invitations. In 2019, Christian City nominated Stephanie Blank for the individual category, Westside Future Fund for the nonprofit category and Delta Air Lines Inc. for the corporate category.
Christian City and HBI wanted the event to be exciting, family friendly and draw attendees. With this in mind, the Georgia Aquarium Ballroom was selected as the venue location, with windows open to the whale share and beluga whale exhibits. HBI also helped organized a powerful lineup of entertainment and speakers for the event to keep the fundraiser fresh and upbeat.
A Successful Celebration
HBI established Christian City’s annual fundraising event, the Community Champion Awards, on September 19, 2019 at the Georgia Aquarium. The event was a success, while promoting its ongoing work in the state of Georgia and staying within budget. Significant relationships were built between Christian City, leading corporations and prospective donors including Delta Air Lines, The Arthur M. Blank Foundation, Choate Construction Company, The Marcus Foundation and more. Christian City successfully secured part owner of the Atlanta Falcons and Montag & Caldwell Managing Principal Ron Canakaris and Brakkam Aviation Management President & CEO Miguel Southwell as the honorary event co-chairs.
The event was one to remember, with the reception and dinner being held in the Georgia Aquarium Ballroom with windows into the whale shark and beluga whale exhibits. The night began with a wonderful VIP reception with hos d’oeuvres, a photo booth and music. To welcome the guests to a delicious dinner was a drumline performance from South Atlanta Highschool. To follow suit, renowned Atlanta broadcast journalist Monica Pearson served as emcee, invocation by the CEO of HOI and former Atlanta Falcon John Burrough, keynote speaker U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia BJay Pak, and video tributes for each of the nominees. Each of the nominees gave touching and emotional speeches. The night ended with a special performance from the youngest runner-up on America’s Got Talent, Angelica Hale. In total, the event raised over $200,000 for Christian City’s Safe Place Program.
Additionally, securing the attendance of key Atlanta leaders was a large indicator of success to Christian City. The event was filled with leaders from multiple organizations such as Public Broadcasting Atlanta, the Carter Center, Lexicon Strategies, Covenant House, Emory University and more. HBI’s outreach to Atlanta organizations helped capture the perfect audience to increase visibility in the community.
Introduction to Atlanta
Hope-Beckham was hired to introduce Blackhall Studios and CEO Ryan Millsap to the Atlanta business community. HBI leveraged its extensive network of business leaders and media contacts to facilitate introductions and placement opportunities for Blackhall Studios.
The HBI team was able to connect Blackhall Studios with numerous important contacts in the Atlanta business community. In addition to introductions, HBI secured Blackhall media coverage in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Film Chat and The CEO Show. The impact of aligning Blackhall Studios with appropriate business contacts is evident in increased brand visibility as well as a positive public perception.
2017 Rotary International Convention
Rotary International, a nonprofit organization that brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges, would be hosting their 108th convention in Atlanta and needed to enhance Rotary’s overall brand identity and consumer awareness.
HBI was hired to publicize and promote the 2017 Rotary International Convention as well as position the attendees as the premier gathering of business and community leaders in the world. HBI brainstormed creative ways to help reshape the misconception that Rotary club members were strictly older men. HBI team members talked to several Rotary members to develop creative story angles to highlight some of the more diverse Rotary members, including a female former body shop owner turned district governor in the metro Atlanta Area. In addition, HBI strategized other ways to promote not only the event, but also the Rotary members in the Atlanta clubs since the host committee was comprised of local Rotarians.
HBI secured local and national media coverage in broadcast and print media. Leading up to the convention, multiple Atlanta-based business radio stations featured a prominent local Rotarian to promote the convention. At the convention, all four major local news stations (WAGA, WGCL, WSB and WXIA), several national television stations (AP and CNN) and print publications (AJC, ABC, Modern Luxury, and more) all attended each day of the Rotary International Convention. As of July 1, 2017, HBI secured more than 400 million impressions with half a million dollars in publicity value.
Bill Foege Global Health Awards
Presented by MAP International
MAP International, a nonprofit organization that provides life-changing medicines and health supplies to people in need, holds an annual global health gala that publicizes its name and serves as a fundraiser. MAP International annually presents the Bill Foege Global Health Awards to recognize people and organizations whose contributions to the progress of global health measure substantially.
HBI was hired to plan and execute the 2nd annual Bill Foege Global Health Awards fundraiser and develop a comprehensive media strategy to promote the event. To build relationships with sponsors and the community, HBI utilized its relationships with local leaders in politics, business and health industries to create an executive committee to serve as ambassadors for the awards ceremony. HBI guided the committee, which was chaired by Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, and Martha Brooks, chair of CARE USA. Honorary co-chairs included Billye and Hank Aaron, Ted Turner and Ambassador Andrew J. Young. HBI created and issued all sponsorship materials needed to get the word out about the Bill Foege Global Health Awards and its mission. Along with executive committee guidance, HBI pitched the media story angles related to the awards ceremony leading up to the event and post event.
The event was emceed by Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, while the guest list was filled with prominent leaders and health industry professionals. The program included testimonies on the progress of global health from Dr. Bill Foege and Former Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary of Administration, John Bardis. The program also included an exciting announcement by The Metro Atlanta Chamber regarding its new initiative, Global Health ATL, which is designed to drive Atlanta’s reputation as the “center for global health.” The 2018 award recipients were President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter, co-founders of The Carter Center, for their contributions in combating diseases in Africa and Latin America and restoring global health. HBI handled all logistics for the event including sponsorship materials, media interviews, venue location, emcee, catering, videography, photography, the program and run of show.
HBI secured local and national media coverage for the Bill Foege Global Health Awards, resulting in 90 million impressions with a total estimated publicity value of $300K. HBI also built significant relationships between MAP International and leading corporations and prospective donors. In addition, the event raised over $100K in medicines and health supplies for people in need.
Twenty years ago, HBI President Bob Hope organized a group of business leaders to travel to rural Honduras to build a school system. Since that time, both Bob and Chairman Paul Beckham have organized and participated in what is now a group of about 50 business people representing a variety of industries in Atlanta and beyond. This group travels has funded and helped build Aldersgate Primary School and Hope Middle School, educating about 500 students each year. They are preparing to build a new high school in this very remote area, which requires an eight-hour bus ride, mostly through the mountains, from the nearest airport.
Schools had previously been one-room structures and teachers were so hard to find that the school would be closed, leaving the small mountain villages without an education system. School attendance is not a requirement in this region, so both parents and youngsters had to be convinced that school was worth the time spent away from local village work that had traditionally been done by the children who might otherwise be in school.
Leadership of the Honduras Agalta Valley Education Foundation, formed by HBI to support the schools, decided that the best way to inspire school attendance would be to make sure everyone saw the school complex as a special place.
A landscaping plan was developed to beautify the school grounds, positioning the school as the showcase of the valley. Even though the buildings were basic, the landscaping could be attractive and would, in fact, be the only landscaped property for miles around. In addition to winding paths with beautiful flowers and shrubs, part of the landscape plan was to honor one of the HAVE Foundation members who not only visits annually to work on the schools, but funds them as well. That person is legendary University of Georgia football coach Vince Dooley. Thus, Vince Dooley Field was created as the soccer field for the schools, including Bermuda grass, hedges (similar to the ones at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia), a scoreboard donated by The Coca-Cola Company and even bleachers, likely the only ones in rural Honduras. Now that challenge was to earn the villagers’ respect for the schools and ensure they were aware of the school’s importance.
Using relationships formed while handling an economic development tour of Atlanta for Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez, HBI introduced President Juan Orlando Hernandez to Coach Dooley and convinced him to travel to the Agalta Valley to lead the Vince Dooly Field dedication ceremony.
President Hernandez and his entourage of 50 military vehicles and three helicopters carrying other top Honduran officials showed up for the dedication of the soccer field. The president spoke to the audience of students, parents and teachers, along with various officials from the valley. Local media, ESPN, Fox Sports, NFL Network and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution were there to cover the event.
Additionally, the president accepted the $5 billionth shipment of medicines from Atlanta-based nonprofit MAP International for clinics in the area. All of this activity was arranged and orchestrated by HBI.
The schools were instantly important and became the most important buildings in the Agalta Valley. Because of that, school participation has dramatically increased and some students, who once viewed themselves mired in the valley forever, now aspire to someday be “the president of Honduras” someday.
Total Wine & More
Total Wine & More, the United States’ largest independent retailer of fine wine, carries more than 8,000 different wines in the average store, over 2,500 beers and 3,000 spirits. Total Wine was started in 1991 in Delaware by brothers Robert and Davide Trone. Today, Total Wine has 205 locations in 24 states across America. In 2015, Total Wine was ready to open a location in Brookhaven and asked Hope-Beckham to publicize and promote the grand opening.
HBI began the project by creating an overall strategy that included inviting notable citizens, coverage in TV, radio, print and online, and brainstorming interesting local media story angles. HBI also began brainstorming event logistics for the opening preview party using site floor plans. HBI compiled a list of notable Brookhaven citizens and civic leaders to invite to the event which included community and business leaders and Brookhaven leadership and residents. In addition, HBI secured logistics for the grand opening party including catering, entertainment, tables/linens, photographer, stage and sound system. This included an extensive shot list for the photographer for social media posts, the Total Wine marketing team and for the local Total Wine team.
The grand opening was deemed a success with more than 200 guests that included the Brookhaven Mayor Rebecca Williams, Brookhaven Rotary President Matthew Morris, Total Wine & More CEO David Trone, Woodruff Arts Center Senior Director Lisa Robinson and Oglethorpe University President Lawrence M. Schall. The team publicized the grand opening through Atlanta media – TV, radio, print and online. Along with the story of the actual store opening, an angle regarding the existing Georgia law hindering multiple liquor store ownership in the state was also pitched.
HBI secured and coordinated an interview with Total Wine CEO David Trone, resulting in a front-page article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, including the coordination of a photographer to visit Dunwoody store for photos to include in the article. HBI also secured and coordinated an interview with Total Wine VP Community Relations Ed Cooper for North Fulton Neighbor newspaper, as well as the political blog The Georgia Report.
The TOUR Championship
East Lake Golf Club
The TOUR Championship, part of the renowned PGA Tour, has historically been one of the final tournaments of the season. Since 2005, the TOUR Championship has been held at the East Lake Golf Club, located in Atlanta, Georgia. The TOUR Championship wanted to increase local, regional and national media coverage OFF the sports pages. Hope-Beckham was hired to secure this media coverage off the sports pages for the prestigious TOUR Championship at the historic East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
HBI began the project by creating a multi-pronged PR plan to feature local and national media opportunities with PGA TOUR players and tournament activities such as the East Lake Golf Club history, fan experience tours, food available at the tournament, media day, military initiatives, sponsors, tournament and trophy history, etc. This plan was updated, planned and executed each tournament year and included story pitching, press releases, media alerts and media day preparation.
Once the plan was in place, HBI internally brainstormed creative ways to showcase the TOUR Championship with individual team members, focusing on the lifestyle aspect. The prestigious golf tournament brings tens of thousands of spectators each year. The goal was to showcase not the elite golf being presented – that was fully covered in the sports media – but the variety of options and experiences available to these golf fans. Each year, the HBI team created story packets to plan, detail and flush-out multiple story ideas and angles for the tournament. Specifically, in 2016 HBI chose to highlight the fan experience by focusing on the available food and drink venues at East Lake Golf Club.
The HBI team researched potential hospitality and lifestyle media outlets to showcase the food available at the TOUR Championship. With the approval of the PGA TOUR team and all of the hospitality vendors (including Fox Bros BBQ, King of Pops and Universal Joint), the HBI team invited media members to visit the TOUR Championship for a sneak preview for “a day in the life of a golf fan.” One of Atlanta’s top-tier arts and entertainment publications, Creative Loafing, not only took a VIP tour, but published a full article on why everyone should attend the TOUR Championship. This was the first time the publication had written about the golf tournament, and it was just one of many media outlets to cover the golf tournament – from a food perspective. HBI garnered 16 million impressions for the 2016 TOUR Championship, and more than 50 percent of those impressions were NOT on the sports pages.
Baseball Legend Turns 86 Years Old
On February 5, 2020, baseball legend Henry “Hank” Aaron turned 86-years-young. The Atlanta Technical College (ATC) wanted to honor Hank by renaming its academic complex after him. Hank and wife Billye had been funding scholarships at ATC for over 20 years. When the Aarons got the call from Stephen McDaniel, ATC’S vice president of Institutional Advancement, they were overwhelmed with pride and joy – and knew that they needed help publicizing this historic moment. Hope-Beckham received a call from Billye Aaron asking if the team would be willing to help promote the new Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron Academic Complex at the Atlanta Technical College – and the answer was a resounding “yes.”
Under the direction of Account Director Wendy Hsiao, HBI took on promoting Hank Aaron’s building dedication ceremony as a pro bono account. The HBI team needed to publicize and promote the event as both Hank Aaron’s birthday celebration and a moment to solidify Hank’s legacy off the field. With a turnaround time of just three weeks, the HBI team needed to get approved proclamations from both Georgia Governor Kemp and Atlanta Mayor Bottoms, invite top-tier former athletes and business leaders, and secure as much media coverage as possible.
A Successful Celebration
HBI secured numerous local, regional and national media coverage for the building dedication and birthday celebration. Working directly with ATC, the HBI team secured interviews on-site with the Associated Press, WSB-TV and CBS46. In all, HBI garnered 225 stories in one day with more than 372 million impressions.
The Celebration Bowl
MEAC vs. SWAC
North Carolina A&T State University vs. Alcorn State University
For the past several years, Hope-Beckham Inc. (HBI) has partnered with ESPN Events to publicize its annual Celebration Bowl. This year, the North Carolina A&T State University Aggies would go head-to-head with the Alcorn State University Braves for the third time in the bowl game’s history. HBI was hired to raise visibility and awareness of the game in Atlanta, amplify its social media outreach and oversee Celebration Bowl’s Advisory Board in order to ensure maximum success.
Local community involvement was a key factor in promoting the game. Once again, HBI coordinated the game’s Advisory Board of prominent business, community, city, and civic leaders in Atlanta. The board members were tasked with spreading the word of the game within their network, encouraged to purchase sponsorship packages, and represented the game at key events and initiatives. HBI coordinated the four in-person meetings on September 24, October 22, November 19, and December 10. Attendance at each meeting was high and the enthusiasm and participation from each board member was palpable.
HBI also provided a continuous flow of communication to the media through numerous press releases, media alerts, emails, and phone calls and generated this media coverage by proactively pitching the sports media on a national, local, and regional level.
For the second year in a row, HBI was also responsible for the Celebration Bowl’s social media accounts and content on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In 2019, the HBI team also created the @CelebrationBowlPR account on Reddit for gameday interaction. HBI handled general engagement on each platform (commenting/liking/retweeting others’ content), responding to messages and inquiries from followers via direct messages, running a ticket giveaway contest through Facebook and Instagram, and sending personal Facebook invitations to those who might be interested in following the page. HBI participated in weekly social media update calls with the ESPN team to discuss new content and the social media calendar moving forward.