Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity
During of summer of 2015, it came to the attention of Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County that Clemson University’s Heisman candidate quarterback Deshaun Watson had grown up in a Habitat home. Strike that, Clemson legend Jeff Davis gave us a call about it knowing that we represented the Greenville affiliate. That is what started the ball rolling.
With Clemson poised to have its best season in years, and Deshaun the breakout star of that team, Complete Public Relations had the opportunity to tell the success story of a Habitat family alongside a larger local, regional, and national narrative, the success of Clemson football. After several meetings between all sides, we came up with a plan where Watson would do three things:
1.Speak at a dinner for Habitat families.
2.Take part in a Habitat home build with the Clemson team.
3. Receive the inaugural Habitat International Next Generation Award, which would be given in the future to young leaders who grew up in Habitat houses.
With a roll out plan in place, we focused heavily on our media relations campaign. We knew getting local coverage in our market would be easy because of the connection to Watson, but in order to secure national coverage, we timed the events to occur during Clemson’s off weeks. As a result, we had every television station in the market, the Associated Press and three newspapers cover the dinner, which was held in summer 2015 before Clemson training camp began. Their stories were then picked-up by media outlets coast-to-coast. However, we knew we wanted to get national exposure for the International award. We explored national reporters who would be able to do the story justice, and again seriously considered the timing of the event to maximize our efforts. We made the awards presentation during Clemson’s by week in the 2015 season, ensuring that reporters looking to cover Clemson stories that week would be interested.
Our work led Habitat to getting on ESPN Sports Center, Sports Illustrated and The Washington Post. Clemson and Habitat were so thrilled with partnership they decided to expand it in 2016. That is where our team came in helping plan a special event where the entire Clemson football team and coaching staff came to Greenville to work on an entire Habitat neighborhood, while also honoring Deshaun. This was held in the fall of 2016. With more than 15 news media outlets on site along with coordinating national stories with CBS Sports, the event was a success.