Media Relations

Vote for Change Tour

The Goal:

In Spring of 2004, Vandenberg Communications worked in conjunction with other music industry activists to bring together a group of artist managers and artists who were interested in changing the direction our country was headed. Our goals were to generate extensive public awareness of the need for change, and encourage people to get out and vote for it. Additionally, we wanted to raise money through the tour to assist organizations working to that end. The idea of Vote for Change tour was born and Vandenberg Communications was hired to coordinate the media.  

The Strategy:
The Vote for Change tour, by design, included more than 20 renowned artists, including: Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, REM, Dave Matthews Band, Death Cab for Cutie, My Morning Jacket, Dixie Chicks, Bonnie Raitt and many others who were committed to the tour's goals, and who were wiling to speak of their convictions and ideas in the media.

In coordination with Vote for Change artists’ publicists, we organized a major tour launch announcement at Splash Studios in September of 2004 with artists Bruce Springsteen, REM, the Dixie Chicks, John Mellencamp, Pearl Jam, Death Cab for Cutie and more.  We followed the launch announcement with an intensive media campaign that extended through the Fall tour, and included: two national Op Eds and messaging tailored to 9 of the 17 electoral battleground states through which the tour was traveling.

The Result:
A dozen of the most respected political and entertainment journalists attended the launch announcement and interviewed the Vote for Change artists.  Media coverage of the launch included: New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Nightline with Ted Koppel, The Today Show, USA Today, Rolling Stone (cover), Spin, CNN and more.

These same outlets and more provided extensive and ongoing coverage throughout the Vote for Change tour. Highlights included an Op Ed in the New York Times and Time magazine; and major pieces in Rolling Stone, USA Today, LA Times, New York Times, Time, Newsweek, Life magazine, CNN, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, and all primary news and broadcast outlets in the cities through which the tour traveled. Overall media coverage of the Vote for Change tour was unprecedented. Over 2,000 stories ran in the days surrounding the tour, including more than 800 television stories airing nationally and in the battleground states.

The Oct. 1 - 11 , 2004 34-city tour ended with a sold-out telecast finale show in Washington, DC which included all headlining Vote for Change artists. Substantial funding was raised from the tour for America Coming Together and an alliance with was formed that resulted in 300,000 new members for the organization.


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