Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Goodstock 25 hours of helping nonprofits

Over the summer the country observed the 40th anniversary of Woodstock and its three days of “peace, love and music.”

Now comes Goodstock, or better yet, d0-Goodstock. Don't mistake the two. This one will be 25 hours of hard work and a sleepless night by the 40 creative staffers at Luquire George Andrews, the Charlotte advertising and public relations agency, to help six needy nonprofits – for free.

All to celebrate the firm's 25th anniversary.

The idea is borrowed from a similar sized firm in Madison, Wisc., where Judi Wax, LGA's senior vice president and public relations director, once worked.

Wax's friend, Andy Wallman, president and executive creative director at Knupp and Watson in Madison, created Goodstock five years ago.

“I loved the idea, and wished we'd have come up with it,” Wax said. “We were trying to figure out how to celebrate LGA's 25 years, and I told everyone about Goodstock. They loved it. I called Andy to see if he'd be willing to let us at least borrow some of his idea.

“He said, ‘You can have everything we've used. Just do it.'”

So from 11 a.m. Oct. 15 to noon Oct. 16, LGA staffers will produce the three marketing pieces the six nonprofits need the most, whether they are print ads, brochures, feature articles, media kits, radio scripts, logos or social media strategies. The Madison firm will perform the same services for 24 hours those two days.

Any nonprofit with a 501(c)3 status can apply, except for religious and political organizations.
Over the years, LGA has worked with numerous Mecklenburg nonprofits – through paid or pro-bono jobs.

“This year especially, we know that budgets are tighter and resources more limited, which makes it even more difficult for nonprofits to market themselves,” said Steve Luquire, LGA's founder and CEO. “We want to help.”

From the applications, LGA will pick six of the county's neediest charities, and assign staffers according to their passions.

LGA plans to continue Goodstock every year, and hopes it will spread to other agencies throughout the country. They plan to market it to national media and trade magazines.

“We hope that as other agencies hear about this ... Goodstock will be happening all over the country so we can spread the love and say thanks to all of them for their good work,” Wax said. “All agencies do this on their own, but we'd like to see this become 24 hours of concerted effort. Everybody wants to give back to the community.”

Want to participate?

Go to www.lgaadv.com, and fill out an application. They must be e-mailed to LGA by 5 p.m. Sept. 18. Judging will be based on services charities provide; their needs and inability to fund marketing pieces; their 501(c)3 status; and their availability during the 25 hours.