California Community Colleges Show How to Use PR Stunts for Good

Image from Renee C. Byer, Sacramento Bee

I’ve written before about how I’m a fan of “stunts that work.” These have included living off camel milk and using heavy machinery and fire hoses. Today’s stunt doesn’t involve anything as dramatic as camel milk or conflagration, but it has a good cause, California Community Colleges.

Last weekend, tens of thousands of Californians joined hands across the state as part of “Hands Across California” to raise awareness of the nearly three million Californians who attend community colleges. Community colleges provide an incredible service with affordable higher education in communities both large and small.  The California Community Colleges Scholarship Endowment is raising $100 million to create an endowment that will be able to provide 5,000 scholarships per year in perpetuity.  They have $25 million committed from the Bernard Osher Foundation with an additional $25 million as a challenge grant if they can raise another $50 million.

Why did this stunt work?  Their goal was to raise awareness of how many students attend California’s community colleges and kickstart more donations.  They are on their way.  Take a look at this article in The Sacramento Bee which included these important facts:

With 2.7 million students and 112 colleges, California has the nation’s largest community college system. But Scott said 140,000 students were denied admission last year because of an 8 percent budget cut. He said more stand to be turned away with deep cuts looming this year.

You can get involved by , visiting for details, or text HANDS to 27722 to donate $10 through June 30.


2 thoughts on “California Community Colleges Show How to Use PR Stunts for Good

  1. i’d be interested in knowing how much was spent on the event. if the event delivered more ‘bang for buck’ than other (less stunt-like) types of promotion, then i say bravo.

  2. Are you sure this PR “stunt’ really worked? I went over to my college and guess how many people were there? 0. That is ZEEE-RRRO. Not a soul was on campus. And have you seen this review from another college: Talk about a fail. It was spring break so students had other things to do. Celebrity support? Yeah, where were they at and where was the coverage? As Jose said, how much was spent? I sure hope more was raised than spent on this. According to the donation page this “stunt” has barely cracked $30K. I think this falls more in line with a PR Flop than a stunt.

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