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Weber Shandwick’s Minneapolis-St. Paul Office Announces 2009 Pro Bono Client


MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minneapolis-Saint Paul office of Weber Shandwick has selected People Serving People (PSP), the largest and most comprehensive family-focused shelter in Minnesota, as its pro bono client for 2009, citing the strong need for increased visibility and support to address the long-term causes of homelessness in the community. With the state’s unemployment rate at a 26-year-high, combined with the sub-prime mortgage crisis and economic recession, Minnesota families are seeking the services of emergency housing shelters at an overwhelming rate.

PSP works to provide homeless children and their families with a new opportunity for healthy and stable lives, offering on-site services such as a pre-school and infant/toddler childcare center, medical clinic, housing and employment center, job training center, mental health and counseling services, computer labs, libraries and a cafeteria. In 2008, the number of families at PSP rose 15 percent, with an average of 312 guests per day.

“We are privileged to help tell the stories of People Serving People this year,” said Sara Gavin, president of Weber Shandwick’s Minneapolis-St. Paul office. “In these challenging economic times, we need to support important resources in our community that help meet the immediate needs of children and families.”

In past years, Weber Shandwick’s pro bono program has divided its provided public relations services among a number of local non-profits, but this year it will put all of its resources behind just one organization in a challenge to make a significant and measurable difference for PSP. One of Weber Shandwick’s goals is to have its entire staff step through the doors of People Serving People, either as a volunteer or simply for a tour, in order to transform all staff into community advocates for the organization and its mission.

“With increased foreclosures and financial pressures, more and more families are in crisis,” said Jim Minor, PSP president and CEO. “Weber Shandwick’s partnership will help us communicate that children are the youngest casualties in this economic crisis, but with smart intervention, we can provide long-term stability for families.”

In addition to working with pro bono clients, Weber Shandwick’s community outreach efforts include an annual communications workshop for non-profit agencies across the state and several daylong work projects. During the past 10 years, the agency’s Minneapolis office has provided more than $1 million in services to more than 30 organizations.

About People Serving People
People Serving People (PSP) is the largest and most comprehensive, family-focused shelter in Minnesota. The true face of homelessness is the face of a child. On an average night, PSP provides housing for more than 300 guests, two-thirds of which are under the age of 18. PSP provide for the immediate needs of families in crisis and offer long-term stability. In the midst of economic crisis, at-risk families experience the most dramatic effects. Investing in families today curbs long-term costs tomorrow. People Serving People is a 501(c)3 supported through corporate sponsorships, county partnerships, grants and gifts from individual donors. For more information, visit

About Weber Shandwick
Weber Shandwick is a leading global public relations agency with offices in 77 markets around the world. The firm’s reputation is built on its deep commitment to client service, creativity, collaboration and harnessing the power of Advocates - engaging stakeholders in new and creative ways to build brands and reputation. Weber Shandwick provides strategy and execution across world-class practices such as consumer marketing, healthcare, technology, public affairs, corporate/financial and crisis management. Its specialized services include digital/social media, advertising, market research, and corporate responsibility. Weber Shandwick received the highest client-satisfaction honors in the 2007 Agency Excellence Survey by PRWeek U.S. and in 2008, was named Large PR Firm of the Year (PR News U.S.), European Consultancy of the Year (The Holmes Report) and Network of the Year (Asia Pacific PR Awards). The firm also won the United Nations Grand Award for Outstanding Achievement in Public Relations for the past three years. Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). For more information, visit


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