At Fort Lauderdale- and Aspen-based public relations agency Durée & Company, we pride ourselves on working for the greater good ― especially during a global crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, we were named with an honorable mention for the 2023 PRNEWS Nonprofit Awards in the “Shoestring Budget” category, which reflects our work with nonprofit client Feeding South Florida® throughout the pandemic.
PRNEWS’ Nonprofit Awards celebrate and recognize the impactful work of communicators who use their skills and expertise to support nonprofit organizations and make a difference in the world. The awards honor those who excel in advocacy, fundraising, and creating opportunities for marginalized communities, often while working with limited budgets and resources. This year’s winners have demonstrated the power of effective communication in addressing the most pressing issues of our time.
Our recognition comes in the PR on a “Shoestring Budget” category for our ongoing commitment to Feeding South Florida® (FSF), the leading domestic hunger relief organization in South Florida. The pandemic has hit many families hard, leaving them struggling to put food on the table.
Typically, FSF feeds approximately 700,000 food-insecure individuals a year in South Florida. Then during the COVID-19 pandemic, that number increased to 1.5 million, and more than 45% of those individuals were seeking food assistance for the first time in their lives. FSF serves more than 1 million individuals across its service area. However, due to economic conditions, donations have been tapering off, and we knew we had to do something to help.
Durée & Company executed a multifaceted strategy that included consistent communication about the need for volunteers, monetary donations, food donations, fundraising initiatives, donations by major corporations and organizations, and advocacy for federal and state legislation and funding to support response and recovery efforts. We also created awareness of FSF’s innovative programming, such as its Mobile FARMacy and state-of-the-art, 5,000-square-foot Community Kitchen, its numerous food distributions, and its partnerships with many schools, law enforcement agencies and first responders in the four-county area in which they serve.
Having worked with FSF since 2010, including during the October 2013 U.S. Federal Government shutdown and other natural disasters, FSF has leaned on D&Co for public relations support and has trusted us to effectively get the word out about the organization’s efforts. The COVID-19 crisis was the biggest challenge that FSF had experienced, and through our years of knowledge acquired working with the organization, we were able to act quickly and proactively. At the onset of the pandemic, D&Co quickly pivoted its strategy and worked around the clock seven days a week, to highlight how FSF was ready and able to assist with disaster response as it pertained to food supplies for the South Florida community.
FSF created approximately 40 weekly drive-through food distribution centers to ensure families could safely access food and extended its volunteer shifts. D&Co invited media to cover these initiatives and constantly monitored the roles of journalists as many were changing beats to cover the pandemic. We worked closely with CEO and President Paco Vélez to develop a comprehensive strategy that would effectively communicate the organization’s efforts during a dynamic and unpredictable crisis. We then pitched Vélez as an expert source in the food banking industry and raised awareness about the commodity cliff and its impact on FSF and food banks. Throughout the campaign, we worked with national media correspondents in South Florida for national stories in both English and Spanish.
As in-person interviews weren’t considered safe, our team used other forms of technology, such as Zoom, to secure and conduct interviews with local and national journalists. Our agency worked with FSF, its donors, municipalities and partner organizations to showcase donations and their respective efforts while the need for nutritious meals continued to rise.
The Durée & Company team’s collective expertise, creativity and passion for their clients have set them apart in the industry. Our agency’s commitment to serving Feeding South Florida has resulted in significant national coverage with over seven billion media impressions in outlets such as The Wall Street Journal (front page), CNN, The New York Times, BBC, Daily Mail, The TODAY Show, National Public Radio, NBC Nightly News and more. We even pitched the socially distant David Guetta Miami relief concert benefiting FSF to local and national entertainment outlets.
Recognizing the urgent need to provide assistance to families affected by the pandemic, Durée & Company facilitated a partnership between Feeding South Florida and Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade. The agency leveraged our extensive network and industry expertise to connect these two organizations, allowing them to collaborate and tackle the evolving food needs of those who are most vulnerable in South Florida. As a result of this partnership, Feeding South Florida was able to set up safe, socially distant drive-thru distributions for the Club’s youth members and their families at two Club locations in Miami-Dade County. Durée & Company worked tirelessly to promote the event through strategic media outreach, resulting in significant coverage in local and national media outlets. The drive-thru distributions provided 200 families at the Hank Kline Club and 100 families at the Northwest Club with fresh produce, protein, dairy and shelf-stable items.
Having worked with FSF for more than a decade, we consider it a privilege to serve the nonprofit organization, because it is the heart and soul of our community. Being recognized in the PR on a “Shoestring Budget” category of the 2023 PRNEWS Nonprofit Awards is a true testament to the importance of effective communication and advocacy for nonprofit organizations during times of crisis.
At Durée & Company, we have prioritized working for social good for more than two decades in business, actively seeking out clients who make a difference. We are deeply honored to have the opportunity to work with Feeding South Florida and are ecstatic to have received recognition from PRNEWS for our efforts. If your organization needs the expertise of seasoned public relations professionals to get the word out about what you are doing to help others and the impact your corporate social responsibility program is having, contact us today!
About Durée & Company
Founded in 1999, Durée & Company is a full-service, well-respected and highly creative public relations and marketing agency serving a diverse client base of local, national and international consumer brands, landmark industries, business leaders and philanthropists from its offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Aspen, Colorado. Practice areas include nonprofit, hospitality, business, lifestyle, health and wellness, legal, real estate, yacht and marine as well as cannabis, psychedelics, and other emerging industries. Durée & Company is a member of some of the nation’s most elite professional organizations including PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), The Florida Hemp Council, The Cannabis Marketing Association and is a corporate partner of Cannabis LAB. Join the social conversation and follow Durée & Company on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn at @DureeCoPR. To learn more, call 954-723-9350; go to dureeandcompany.com; cannabismarketingpr.com; or psychedelicpr.com. Join the social conversation and follow Durée & Company on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn at @DureeCoPR.