Autism Speaks

The Challenge

Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, strongly dedicated to funding research, increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. To further their mission and create a positive impact on their communities, Autism Speaks hosts a wide variety of experiential fundraising events worldwide throughout the year.  

Autism Speaks retained Etched after successful media coverage for the Houston chapter’s 2015 annual walk fundraiser. Pre-event media coverage for the 2015 walk garnered interviews with Radio One, Mega and KPRC Channel 2.   

This year Autism Speaks expanded the scope of work to all three of the non-profit’s Texas markets which include, Houston, Dallas and Austin. This year the goals were to garner both pre-event and event media coverage in each city for the “2016 Autism Speaks Walk,” raise awareness for each walk, and encourage fundraising for the organization’s Texas chapter.   

The Approach

Etched secured coverage with established media outlets in all three cities and exceeded client expectations through the following tactics:   

  • Created media list to identify target reporters and outlets  
  • Promptly crafted pre-event release and distributed it to media outlets in each market   
  • Thoroughly pitched release to relevant traditional media  
  • Secured placement of the event on web calendar listings on highly trafficked outlets, including the Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News and 360 Austin   
  • Provided interview preparation and speaking points  
  • Conducted media training  
  • Secured and scheduled interviews in all three cities 
  • Created and distributed media advisories
  • Monitored media coverage to compile comprehensive media report  
  • Assembled media kits for on-site reporters at the event  
  • Assisted the client during the event  
  • Crafted post-event photo release and distributed it to local media    

The Result 

Etched secured traditional media coverage via interviews and calendar listings in established local outlets. In Houston, pre-event interviews included KTRK Channel 13, Radio One, KPFT 90.1FM, and KPRC Channel. Pre-event coverage curated a potential reach of 4.7 million listeners and viewers. Houston event coverage from FOX26 and CW 39 bolstered potential audience numbers to more than 38 million potential reach overall.      

Event participation in each city matched the previous year, but fundraising doubled for all markets. In Houston, fundraising saw in increase from $318,000 in 2015 to nearly $400,000 in 2016.  

Etched’s masterful media relations capabilities continues to earn our agency a wide array of year-long events put on by Autism Speaks not only in Houston, but for the Texas chapter for 2017.