ACA International Receives National PR Honor

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Trade association's Ask Doctor Debt campaign cited as one of nation's best by PR News

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This is an incredible honor, and really this award belongs to our members

The ACA International Education Foundation (ACAEF) recently received a prestigious PR News Platinum Award in recognition of the remarkable success achieved by the Ask Doctor Debt public relations campaign.

The PR News Platinum Awards are given to the best practitioners within the public relations industry, and thousands of entrants from the nation's largest companies and top public relations firms compete each year. The ACAEF, which did all of its public relations efforts through in-house staff and ACA members across the United States, received honorable mention as a finalist in the category for PR initiatives done "On a Shoestring Campaign."

"This is an incredible honor, and really this award belongs to our members," said ACA Public Relations Director John Nemo. "They were the ones who stepped up and delivered. From the very beginning, it was their passion, creativity and willingness to do whatever was necessary that made Ask Doctor Debt such a success."

Launched in April 2009, Ask Doctor Debt is a fast, free and friendly Web site for consumers with credit and debt questions. Created by the ACAEF and aimed at serving consumers by increasing financial literacy, Ask Doctor Debt has been a runaway PR hit, reaching more than 25 million consumers and netting an estimated $1 million in free advertising/publicity value, according to the PR measurement company Cision.

More than two dozen ACA members helped kick off the campaign last spring by conducting more than 125 radio, television and print interviews all across the United States. National coverage included features on ABC News NOW, Fox Business Channel, ABC News Worldwide Radio and Fox News Channel, which ran a recurring Ask Doctor Debt segment every Friday for 16 straight weeks.

"From day one, we knew we had something special with Ask Doctor Debt," said Bill Wilcox, chairman of the ACAEF. "I personally want to thank everyone involved with this effort. There were literally dozens of members who helped create and then carry out this ambitious initiative. And I think Ask Doctor Debt is a great example of how what the Foundation does not only helps consumers, but also leads to great success and publicity for ACA International as well."

Due to the initial campaign's success, the Ask Doctor Debt Web site has also been translated into Spanish and Nemo said a Spanish-language PR campaign would begin in November 2009.

"Our global members have also embraced the concept of Ask Doctor Debt, and there's already talk about translating it into other languages and using this model worldwide," he said. "Our members see Ask Doctor Debt's potential to not only help consumers, but to deliver positive, encouraging stories about our industry day after day."

About ACA International
ACA International, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, is the comprehensive, knowledge-based resource for success in the credit and collection industry. Founded in 1939, ACA brings together more than 5,500 members worldwide, including third-party collection agencies, asset buyers, attorneys, creditors and vendor affiliates. The association establishes ethical standards, produces a wide variety of products, services and publications, and articulates the value of the credit and collection industry to businesses, policymakers and consumers.

Media Contact: John Nemo, ACA International Public Relations Director, (952) 928-8000, ext. 124.

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John Nemo
ACA International
952-928-8000 ext. 124
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