Topic: Youth-Focused Initiatives
To provide children comfort when they need it, WTMJ-AM in Milwaukee, Wis., hosts an annual "Teddy Bear Patrol" campaign. The effort encourages listeners to donate stuffed animals for local police, fire departments and emergency medical services to distribute to children in crisis situations. In 2007, the station organized 84 collection sites and enlisted the help of 77 schools throughout the state, resulting in the collection of more than 6,000 teddy bears. The station supported the "Teddy Bear Patrol" initiative with a multi-tiered marketing campaign, which included live and recorded public service announcements, placement of collection bins, email newsletters sent to 17,000 "Loyal Listener Club" members, newspaper advertisements, Web site promotion, inclusion on WTMJ’s interactive phone line, news releases and a targeted direct mail campaign to schools. Since it began in 1993, WTMJ’s "Teddy Bear Patrol" has collected and distributed more than 70,000 teddy bears. Wisconsin Broadcasters Association awarded WTMJ with Best Support of a Community Event for the Teddy Bear Patrol in 2007.