Reading Is Fundamental Cause Marketing Campaign with US Airways

Fly With US. Read With Kids.

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) promotes family literacy and dates to 1966. It's the oldest and largest such literacy organization in the United States and darn hard to miss. Chances are, every American who's ever been in public or school library has seen their posters, which feature images of the celebrities of the day encouraging kids to read.

Currently RIF is doing an interesting campaign sponsored by US Airways called "Fly With US. Read With Kids." It's targeted at adults, encouraging them to log minutes reading with a child.

There's a media component with NBC's 'The Today Show,' a dedicated microsite with a 'paint-a-plane' element, and a sweepstakes with a grand prize trip to Walt Disney World in Florida. Throughout March every US Airways passenger received a book to share with a child.

In other words, there's a lot to learn from this promotion from some veteran campaigners. And... believe it or not... it all started when US Airways attended RIF's 2007 gala. Proof positive that you can cross-pollinate your fundraising and cause-related marketing efforts.

I conducted an online interview with Laura Goodman, Director, Corporate Relations at RIF, and asked 15 questions. In today's post we'll cover the first seven questions and answers. On Thursday I'll post the remaining 8 questions and Laura's answers.

Who is your audience/audiences for the campaign?

"The audience for the campaign includes RIF’s coordinator network, US Airways
employees, and the general public."

What are your goals for the campaign?

"RIF and US Airways share a goal of an increasing the public’s awareness of the importance of children’s literacy. Together, we’ve created a variety of resources for parents and volunteers to foster excitement for reading with children, such as the online “Read with Kids Challenge,” placing Maisy books on the planes, and US Airways support of local RIF programs.

How will you measure the campaign's success?

"The success of the campaign will be measured in a number of ways including: media coverage, US Airways employee/customer feedback, level of employee volunteerism, increased donations to RIF, increased internal/external awareness of the airline’s corporate citizenship initiatives, increased traffic to, number of participants in the reading challenge, number of collective minutes read to children, number of books distributed, number of communication materials distributed about RIF and reading and other program specifics. We already know that campaign has been successful because over 300,000 books have been distributed to children, 1 million minutes read and thousands of dollars donated to RIF."

How did the campaign come about?

"The 'Fly with US. Read with Kids.' campaign was built around the goal of both RIF and US Airways, which was to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of children’s literacy. US Airways was interested in partnering with RIF because children’s literacy is a cause that is important to every person in every community. RIF is happy to partner with US Airways as a chance to reach a broad audience with our mission.

When did you launch?

"The “Fly with US. Read with Kids.” Campaign officially launched on February 29, 2008

How long will it go on?

"The on-flight books will be available through the month of March. The Read with Kids Challenge runs through May 31, 2008. The support of local RIF programs, the lending libraries in US Airways clubs, and information will be available for the rest of 2008."

What prior experience did RIF have with an online effort like this?

"RIF has an award-winning website, and we have conducted several successful online reading contests for children, including a Summer Reading Contest sponsored by Target in summer of 2007."

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