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VOL. 131 | NO. 38 | Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pearl and Mel Shaw

Making the Needle Move: Corporate Men Behind the Birth of the UNCF Telethon

By Mel and Pearl Shaw

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Editor’s note: Part two of a two-part series. What contributed to the success of the history-making UNCF Lou Rawls telethon? Leadership, collaboration, teamwork and a respect for the individual goals of participating partners.

Part one of this series was a behind-the-scenes look at creating the partnership between the UNCF and Anheuser-Busch. Once they were committed, it was time for creativity and hard work.

Wayman Smith, Anheuser-Busch’s vice president for minority affairs, used his position to the fullest extent, changing the face of African-American philanthropy through his efforts with UNCF. He brought on board Victor Julien, then manager of national events and incentives, and independent marketing specialist Byron Glore.

Julien made it his business to make sure that his marketing team, and the public relations, marketing and sales team of Anheuser-Busch were truly behind the telethon and involved. He also ensured they worked closely with local UNCF teams (staff and volunteers) across the country in local Anheuser-Busch markets.

Glore produced the entertainment for the telethon, creating a world-class television show that met the standards of all participating TV stations and networks. It was imperative that the entertainment, talent and production values were all first class.

TV stations were donating air time and the telethon had to keep their viewers watching, and attract an expanded audience. An excellent production helped sustain participating stations. As a producer, Glore insisted on diversity at all levels of the production team, from writers to talent to production staff.

The late Chris Edley Jr., then CEO of UNCF, assigned our own Melvin B. Shaw to develop and manage the telethon with special emphasis on staff development, volunteer training and management, sponsorship and TV/radio recruiting.

Shaw’s team was charged with creating an annual fundraising plan for the telethon; producing the local TV segments; recruiting additional national and local sponsors; developing a network of TV, radio and cable stations to air the telethon; and developing a well-trained pool of staff and volunteers. Early UNCF team members included James Alston, William Allen, Carmen Botto, Jan Honore, Kristie Patton, Stephen McDaniel, Harriet Morgan Ecton, Valerie Davis, William Casey, and Ron Bookman.

This team – and others – helped make the telethon a catalyst through which the African-American community supported the goal and mission of UNCF. It engaged people from all across the community, giving each an opportunity to become involved, give and be recognized on TV and radio.

Anheuser-Busch and UNCF developed an ideal cause marketing partnership, one that advanced the internal and external business, financial and marketing goals of each. Most importantly, this fabulous partnership of resources helped to educate thousands of our young men and women.

Mel and Pearl Shaw, owners of fundraising consultancy firm Saad&Shaw, can be reached at 901-522-8727 or saadandshaw.com.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 16 35 186
BUILDING PERMITS 0 305 3,056
BANKRUPTCIES 17 135 753
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 53 329
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0