New Orleans Women & Children’s Shelter
The New Orleans Women & Children’s Shelter is the largest shelter for homeless women and children in New Orleans. Since its inception in 2007, the Shelter has helped more than 1,200 homeless women and children transition from living on the street to safe, affordable housing. An average of 88% of the families served by the New Orleans Women & Children’s Shelter transition to independence and stability.
In 2015, the New Orleans Women & Children’s Shelter (NOWCS) engaged Gambel Communications to provide ongoing media relations, donor relations and social media support, ultimately increasing awareness of the Shelter’s impact in the community to raise funds for its mission.
Gambel Communications worked with the New Orleans Women & Children’s Shelter’s board of directors and the executive director to identify priorities and implement a proactive public relations plan. Services included general strategy and planning; ongoing media relations; ongoing social media strategy and implementation; award nominations and donor relations support.
Gambel developed overall messaging to highlight the Shelter’s mission and impact to increase public awareness. In November 2015, the team launched a re-branding campaign to better reflect the Shelter’s evolving mission and expanding services including changing its name from New Orleans Women’s Shelter to New Orleans Women & Children’s Shelter, because of the growing number of children that the Shelter continued to serve. In 2016, the team declared a local Awareness Day for Homeless Women and Children, issuing a report card on the state of homelessness in New Orleans.
Gambel built on the name change momentum in 2015 and the report card in 2016 to raise awareness through media opportunities and on social media, while also raising support for the Shelter’s programs and services. To maintain interest throughout the years, Gambel Communications established an editorial calendar of planned events and storylines related to homeless awareness; specifically, among children – the most vulnerable population in New Orleans. Gambel Communications also worked closely with the Shelter staff to identify and develop a series of resident testimonials to highlight on all digital platforms (testimonial videos, e-blasts, social media campaigns, highlights on the website, etc.).
Within the last three years, Gambel Communications has consistently earned media coverage for the New Orleans Women & Children’s Shelter’s events and placed evergreen stories related to its programs and impact. Highlights include the cover of New Orleans Living in May 2017, a broadcast story with local Fox affiliate WVUE-TV in 2016 telling the story of a family who transitioned from homelessness to independent living and a feature story placed in the Times-Picayune/NOLA.com in 2015 about a former resident and her children. Other notable coverage includes morning show appearances on all four local TV stations to promote the Shelter’s annual fundraising event, There’s No Place Like Home, and regular radio interviews promoting the Shelter’s mission and impact.
Additionally, the Gambel team has garnered extensive community support through social media exposure, securing thousands of impressions and engagement on the Shelter’s social media platforms. As a result of the social media campaign surrounding the name change alone, there were more than 25,000 impressions by more than 10,000 users on Facebook. The Shelter’s Facebook page grew to more than 2,000 likes and a Crowdfunding Campaign on social media raised over $7,000. Thanks to the continued community support for New Orleans Women & Children’s Shelter, homeless women and children in New Orleans are being cared for and equipped to transition from homelessness to independence.
The New Orleans Women & Children’s Shelter continues to look to Gambel Communications as trusted advisors and members of its team for all communications efforts.