Reading Is Fundamental is the nation's largest children's literacy organization. Our mission is to empower children to become good readers by providing access to free, high-quality books to children to need them most.
On June 13, 2016, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) launched a new PSA called READ. The goal of the campaign was to inspire young children to read by sparking their imagination through the power of books.
READ was produced by Timber, an LA-based special effects production company, and given to RIF as a gift during its 50th anniversary of inspiring children to read, learn and grow. The PSA is available in 30 second, 60 second and two minute versions. Timber also produced a behind-the-scenes video and photo gallery to showcase how the PSA was created.
Primary objectives to achieve during the campaign included:
- Generate a minimum of 12 million consumer impressions by December 31, 2016.
- Achieve a minimum of 100,000 plays of the READ PSA by December 31, 2016.
- Generate a minimum of $2 million in in-kind media value over a 24-month period.
- Test a new digital fundraising platform via video by December 31, 2016 to raise a minimum of $20,000.
RIF adopted the following key strategies to promote the READ PSA:
- Utilize RIF's communications channels to promote the READ PSA and RIF's mission of inspiring children to read, learn and grow.
- Drive awareness and viewership of the READ PSA by targeting key media, program sites and community partners to promote the video.
- Test an embedded Donate Now button to generate incremental revenue that will enable RIF to fund books for children who don't have any to call their own.
The PSA was supported by traditional earned media (PR, social media), digital media (website, blog posts, newsletters, e-blasts) and paid media (online placement, boosted Facebook posts). TV Access served as the PSA distributor along with Family Features online. In addition, RIF created enriching literacy activities on the art of filmmaking for use in the classroom. Through a partnership with WNET, the READ PSA will also be broadcast nationwide on PBS on September 17, 2016, reaching an estimated 86% of U.S. households.
RIF's out-of-pocket expenses to promote the video were $35,000. With a limited budget, we are on target to achieve a minimum of $2 million in in-kind media value over a two-year period.
Thus far, RIF is well poised to achieve its campaign objectives. Since launching on June 13, 2016, we have achieved the following results as of August 19, 2016:
- Objective: 12MM consumer impressions by December 31, 2016. Achieved 11.8MM consumer impressions to-date.
- Objective: 100,000 plays of the PSA by December 31, 2016. Achieved 319,000 plays to-date.
- Objective: $2MM in in-kind media value by June 13, 2018. Achieved $285,000 to-date.
The READ PSA has also enabled RIF to engage with social media audiences more than ever. Shares and likes for the PSA are higher for this campaign compared to other messages and comments have been 100% positive.
RIF has not tested the Donate Now button for fundraising purposes but plans to do so in September and November of 2016. We anticipate being able to achieve our objective of raising $20,000 in revenue by December 31, 2016
Going forward, we hope to increase the broadcast distribution of the PSA beyond in-kind remnant space on network and cable TV to a more targeted, daily approach on a national children's network. In addition, we are looking to partner with several theater companies to broadcast the PSA in theaters nationwide by summer 2017. This is especially important as summer is a critical time for children and families to read books to stay ahead in school.
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