Lions Clubs Expand Fight Against Blindness Into First Global Push

Lions Club International today launches its first global image campaign with a mix of broadcast and print advertising and public relations programs to spotlight the organization’s work to combat blindness.
The first phase begins today with ads in USA Today, USA Today International and international editions of the Wall Street Journal. Headlined, “Our vision is a world where no one loses theirs,” the ads explain Lions Clubs’ efforts to prevent blindness and provide services for the sightless. The ads are tagged, “For all the world to see.”
The second phase, a 30-second TV spot, begins next week. Carrying the same tagline as the print ads, the spot will air on CNN in the U.S. and overseas and on in-flight broadcasts on some British Airways routes.
Rapp Collins Worldwide in Chicago created the advertising for the $3 million effort; Ketchum Public Relations in Chicago is coordinating the public relations component, which includes the establishment of Lions Club “news teams” at six Ketchum offices around the world.
Based in Oak Brook, Ill., Lions Club International has 1.4 million members in 43,000 clubs in 185 countries. Founded in 1917, the club was issued a challenge in 1925 by Helen Keller to provide help for the blind and has made that its central cause.
The organization’s board of directors last year decided to expand its traditional public relations efforts in North America into a global program, said Pat Cannon, manager of public relations and production.
“The goal is to establish the organization’s image internationally with donors, supporters and prospective members,” said Cannon. “We think it not only will increase our supporters’ pride in what is being achieved, but also attract more supporters to the work we do.”
The advertising is upbeat, stressing the help people have received rather than focusing on disabilities, to build Lions Club’s image as a service organization, Cannon said.