Republican National Convention

Ask any organizer to help pull together the Republican National Convention and they’ll tell you that it’s a daunting task. Ask them to do it in the year 2000 before social media? They might tell you it’s impossible. Unless that organizer is Grimm & Grove.

Service Offerings
Community Organizing
Event Management
Strategic Communications
Recruiting 10,000 volunteers before the advent of social media.
The Need
The Republican National Convention needed to recruit, train, deploy and manage 10,000 volunteers in a first-ever event for Philadelphia that many would say was “make or break.” And the RNC needed it done without email, social media or online registration and training.
The Insight
Grimm & Grove knew that overcoming partisan issues was key. We also knew that Philadelphians have more than just love – they have a lot of pride.
The Solution
Grimm & Grove’s first “volunteer” was the Republican National Convention’s Campaign Chairman, Pat Croce – someone apolitical and full of energy. With Pat at the helm, we kicked off the campaign by signing up every regional mascot we could find. We recruited at malls, sporting events and civic events. We handed out applications at post offices. We hit campuses and tapped into organized groups of volunteers.
Beyond Communications
The entire effort went far beyond communications, including training cab drivers and SEPTA drivers. We created the Philly Friends program and the “clappers” – two hospitality services that Philadelphia is still known for today. We even partnered with famed organizational legend Dale Carnegie to provide volunteers with a customized training that was done in person, with more than 200 sessions delivered across the region. Our 10,000th volunteer was even an elephant at the zoo who “signed” an elephant-sized application.
The Result

We wound up with over 18,000 registered volunteers, and trained and deployed just over 15,000 of them. Dan Rather praised our volunteers on national television. Philadelphia went on to become known as a model for national political conventions, eventually laying the ground work for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

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