Release: National 9.16.08

CMO Council Rallies Corporate Support for American Red Cross Hurricane Relief

Red Cross Assists Thousands in Wake of Hurricane Ike

WASHINGTON, Tuesday, September 16, 2008 – The American Red Cross today announced a new alliance with the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council that leverages the combined reach, expertise and influence of corporate marketers worldwide to encourage donations to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. The 3,500 CMO Council members manage some $100 billion in annual marketing expenditures worldwide and communicate with millions of potential donors daily through online and offline media channels.

The announcement comes as the Red Cross continues to provide services to thousands affected by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike and days after the launch of a national campaign to raise an initial $100 million to replenish the fund depleted by an active year of disasters. The Disaster Relief Fund supports the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year and enables the Red Cross to provide disaster victims with shelter, food, counseling and other assistance.

The CMO Council will issue a special bulletin to its members, affiliates and partners and disseminate traditional and social media creative and content that companies can use in corporate intranets, newsletters, public service ads, blogs, digital signage systems, email and text messaging campaigns, as well as community outreach.

“The American Red Cross touches people in every market and its humanitarian mission has relevance for all of our members committed to social responsibility programs,” said Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director. He added, “Helping the American Red Cross reach these markets is one way our members can give back and further their customer affinity programs with cause-related communications activities.”

There are many ways CMO Council employees, customers, distribution partners and trade audiences can support the Red Cross. Donations can be made by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visiting http://www.redcross.org. Another way people can help is through the Text 2HELPTM Initiative, a cooperative partnership between the Red Cross and the Wireless Foundation. Users simply text message the keyword “GIVE” to “2HELP” (24357) and a $5 donation will be made to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Contributions will appear on monthly bills or be debited from a prepaid account balance. All applicable text rates apply.

“We are thrilled to tap into the collective talent, leadership and resources that the CMO Council brings to the table,” said Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross. “This alignment will go a long way toward helping victims of disaster meet their critical needs.”

The Red Cross responded to a record number of tornadoes this year, the worst flooding in the Midwest in 15 years, an early wildfire season and an active hurricane season-disasters that steadily depleted the Disaster Relief Fund. Hurricane Gustav, which made landfall on September 1, is estimated to cost the Red Cross $40-$70 million and the organization has only raised a fraction of what is needed to support affected families. Early cost estimates indicate the Red Cross response to Hurricane Ike may exceed the cost of Hurricane Gustav.


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