WCNY has launched a new effort aimed at helping local nonprofits. “Won’t You Help a Neighbor?” uses the public broadcast station’s many media resources and connections to promote causes near and dear to Central New York residents.
“It basically came directly from WCNY. We wanted to use our television, web, print, radio and social media to help make people in Central New York aware of important local causes,” said Haley Dubnoff, editor and public relations manager for WCNY. “It’s our way to give back to the community.”
“Central to WCNY’s mission is connecting with and giving back to the community that supports us,” said Robert J. Daino, WCNY’s president and CEO. “We are pleased to use our media platforms to focus attention on the efforts of dedicated organizations… that help make our community a great place to live.”
The name was drawn from the theme song to “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” — “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
“It seemed like a great idea,” Dubnoff said. “When we were thinking about what we should call this, someone came up with that, and it just fit.”
She said the name has proven to be a good one.
“People really like the name,” she said. “It makes sense to everybody.”
The effort itself kicked off Sept. 22 with a media blitz to support the Humane Association of Central New York’s annual Drop-A-Thon. The event invites community members to drop off items like gently used blankets, sheets, towels, pet beds, litter pans, canned cat and dog food, dry cat food, catnip treats for cats, dog treats, cat and dog toys, non-clumping litter, air fresheners and laundry detergent at the shelter on Taft Road. WCNY promoted the event on all of its platforms — television, print, email, social media and radio. WCNY also offered up its Liverpool studios as a dropoff location.
“They told us it was extremely helpful,” Dubnoff said. “They saw a big bump in participation.”
Since the Drop-A-Thon, numerous calls have come in requesting help promoting local causes. Dubnoff said the promotion is very helpful to smaller nonprofits especially.
“A lot of these organizations can’t always afford traditional advertising,” she said. “This is a way they can help get the word out. It’s a great way to promote their causes. It’s a nice alternative to take advantage of.”
The causes represent a range of nonprofits from across WCNY’s 19-county broadcast area. In addition to the Humane Association of CNY, Won’t You Help a Neighbor has promoted Child Care Solutions and CNY Reads. Future causes include the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Muscle Walk and Lock-Up, as well as the Syracuse Promise Walk for Preeclampsia.
The best part? There’s no cost for the nonprofits to participate.
“We don’t want anything in return,” Dubnoff said. “We just want to give back to the community and help a neighbor.”
To learn more about the “Won’t You Help a Neighbor?” campaign or to notify WCNY about an important local cause, contact Dubnoff at Haley_Dubnoff@wcny.org or 453-2424, ext. 245.
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.