ACA International's "Ask Doctor Debt" Initiative Named Finalist for National PR Award

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Trade association's financial literacy campaign recognized as one of nation's best in PR News Platinum Awards Competition

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You're going up against the best and the brightest in the industry. So to see ACA International named as a finalist … we're thrilled to say the least.

Ask Doctor Debt, the financial literacy initiative that has helped thousands of consumers seeking fast, free and friendly credit and debt solutions, has been honored as one of the United States' best Public Relations campaigns of 2009.

Created by the ACA International Education Foundation, "Ask Doctor Debt" was named a finalist in the PR News Platinum PR Awards, beating out thousands of other corporate, association and PR agency entrants from around the U.S.

"The competition was fierce,'' said Mary Lou French, the PR News Awards Coordinator. ''To place as a finalist is a major accomplishment."

"This is literally the who's-who nationally of public relations professionals and campaigns," said John Nemo, ACA International's Public Relations Director. "You're going up against the best and the brightest in the industry. So to see ACA International named as a finalist … we're thrilled to say the least."

"Ask Doctor Debt," which uses a "Dear Abby"-type format to answer consumers' credit and debt questions online, is among three finalists in the category for national PR campaigns done "On a Shoestring" budget.

"This is a tribute to the amazing members of ACA International," Nemo said. "From the more than two dozen of them who did interviews all over the country to promote the Web site's launch to the hundreds more who helped spread the word online and elsewhere, it was truly a team effort. And as a nonprofit association, we really did do this on a shoestring budget."

Launched in April 2009, "Ask Doctor Debt" became an instant PR sensation, reaching more than 18 million viewers and garnering an estimated $865,000 in free publicity/advertising value during its first 60 days online. (Watch a video summary.)

National media coverage included spots on ABC News NOW, Fox Business Channel, ABC News Worldwide Radio and Fox News Channel, which made "Ask Doctor Debt" a regular Friday segment on its "Happening Now" program. In all, more than two dozen ACA International members did close to 80 different television and radio interviews all across the United States to help promote "Ask Doctor Debt" during the first two months of its campaign.

In recognition of this achievement, each finalist will receive an award during the PR News Platinum Awards luncheon at the Grand Hyatt in New York City on October 21, 2009. A first place winner and then Honorable Mentions will be announced at that time. There will also be coverage of each finalist in PR News' Platinum Awards special issue.

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, nemo(at)acainternational(dot)org or (952) 928-8000, ext. 124.

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