Project Description

HKA has served as the marketing communications agency for prominent nonprofit client Susan G. Komen Orange County since 2007, supporting its many signature initiatives, including the annual Race for the Cure, Pink Tie Ball and Pink Tie Guy ambassador program. Komen Orange County is a highly recognized 501(c)(3) public charity that operates under the charter of the international organization headquartered in Dallas.

The Challenge

Each year, Komen Orange County hosts a Race for the Cure in Newport Beach to welcome thousands of breast cancer survivors, friends, family members and the community in support of a world without breast cancer. In 2014, Komen Orange County sought an out-of-the-box approach to increase Race attendance beyond its existing target audience. HKA was tasked with elevating the nonprofit’s visibility to generate additional support for the organization and ultimately increase Race registrants.

The Solution

The nonprofit launched a signature “tutu tour” in Orange County. The initiative sought to collect as many pictures of men, women and children donning pink tutus with signs displaying why they Race for the Cure. The signs ranged from “I tutu for impact,” “I tutu for breakthroughs” and “I tutu for futures,” which aligned with the 2014 Race theme.

To support the tutu tour, HKA executed a three-pronged marketing communications approach focusing on traditional media outreach, celebrity relations and social media.

First, HKA invited targeted media to cover the kick-off event featuring more than 30 tutu-clad Orange County community leaders, volunteers, breast cancer survivors and Race team members with “I tutu for…” signs to raise awareness about the importance of breast health and encourage Race participation.

Next, HKA reached out to a dozen local personalities to garner support for the campaign and engaged the interested celebrities by sending tutus and “I tutu for…” signs for them to join the fun.

Finally, HKA took the campaign to the social media community, which joined by posting photos with a unique hashtag #OCTutuTour on social media channels. HKA retweeted, and reshared on Komen Orange County’s Facebook and Twitter to optimize engagement.


The Results

The OC Tutu Tour kickoff generated broadcast media coverage on various local broadcast affiliates, and feature stories appeared in prominent local print publications.

The social media campaign resulted in nearly 100 photos with people donning tutus with the unique hashtag. Influential personalities, including Ali Fedotowsky, Carmelita Jeter and Peggy Tanous, all shared tutu photos, yielding more than 800,000 impressions. The Mommy Blogger community also got involved and shared photos and Race information on their social media channels and blogs, resulting in nearly 50,000 target audience impressions.

The 23rd Annual Race for the Cure welcomed more than 16,000 registrants and more than 20,000 event attendees with Komen Orange County exceeding its fundraising goal of $2 million.