Promoting a Successful Opening for Central Ohio’s Only Domestic Violence Shelter

The Project

CHOICES, operated by Lutheran Social Services (LSS), is the only domestic violence shelter and 24-hour crisis and information hotline in Franklin County. Inspire worked with LSS CHOICES throughout a two-year fundraising campaign to raise money for a much-needed new shelter. Inspire also was enlisted to help organize a special event celebrating the new shelter’s grand opening during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

To support LSS CHOICES, Inspire developed a communications strategy that included updating campaign messaging, developing an agenda and speaker themes for the grand opening event, as well as drafting and distributing a media advisory and press release, featuring quotes from prominent campaign champions such as Abigail Wexner, to announce the shelter’s opening. As a part of the event, Inspire suggested attendees write personal notes of encouragement for the residents of the new shelter.

Leading up to the grand opening event, Inspire coordinated valuable partnerships for LSS CHOICES that included Flowerama, a local florist shop that committed to selling purple flower arrangements as a fundraising promotion with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the new shelter. Inspire also engaged local influencers to help raise awareness of the shelter opening. In addition, Inspire worked with the City of Columbus on a light-up night where the city skyline was lit up in purple to raise awareness for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Another piece of the communications strategy was media outreach that included coordinating a front-page story in Columbus Business First. Inspire also drafted and placed an opinion piece in The Columbus Dispatch.

The Results

  • Inspire secured 30 media placements that mentioned LSS CHOICES and the new shelter, reaching an estimated audience of more than 15 million. Placements included The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus Business First, NBC4, WSYX-TV and WBNS 10TV.
  • The Flowerama fundraising partnership resulted in several on-air media mentions and social media posts from local television anchors, increasing awareness and helping to generate more than $1,000 in monetary donations to the shelter.
  • Community leaders such as Columbus City Council, Mayor Andrew Ginther, Franklin County Commissioners and the Columbus Police Department also shared posts across the social media channels, further expanding the reach of the campaign.
targeted media placements secured
million+ reached through earned media