Harvest Hope Food Bank, one of the largest food banks in South Carolina, faced a massive challenge when a historic flood swept across the Palmetto State in October 2015. Harvest Hope serves 20 counties in the state and the organization needed immediate and rapid assistance with media relations and public relations in the midst of the worst public assistance crisis since Hurricane Hugo. NP Strategy immediately jumped on board and got to work.
Harvest Hope needed to quickly reach scores of people in need, hundreds of volunteers, as well as donors. Disaster response messaging was immediately drafted and channels of communication activated, including traditional and social media platforms to rapidly and effectively reach those people. NP Strategy continually assessed the evolving situation, updating the messaging and communications and maintaining Harvest Hope’s presence in the news.
With the help of publicity and strategic communications, record numbers of volunteers and donors showed up to help, including the Governor of South Carolina. More than two million meals were served in the weeks following the flood, including many through mobile pantry units sent to isolated locations. Media engagements skyrocketed with Harvest Hope positioned as a disaster response leader, and public awareness of the food bank’s ongoing mission was deepened.
Six months following the flood, NP Strategy helped Harvest Hope plan and execute its annual Gala which celebrated everyone’s tremendous response during the flood, honored Governor Nikki Haley for her leadership efforts, and thanked the public for 35 years of support. It was a huge success with more than 800 guests attending, a 50% increase from previous years. NP Strategy continues to work with Harvest Hope to support their communications, media relations and community relations goals.