WASHINGTON — April 4, 2011 — The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) presented the David J. Brugger Grassroots Advocacy Award to the more than 400 local public television and radio stations, national organizations and producers who partnered together to launch the incredibly successful 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting grassroots campaign. Jeff Freeland Nelson, managing director for public strategy at American Public Media (APM), accepted the award on behalf of the campaign.
The APTS Board of Trustees created the David J. Brugger Grassroots Advocacy Award in honor of its former president and CEO, David Brugger, who worked tirelessly to recognize the tremendous contribution of grassroots advocates to the system.
“This year, the Brugger award is being presented not to an individual, but to a truly amazing group of public broadcasting stakeholders for a truly remarkable achievement in grassroots advocacy,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS. “This year, the Brugger Award is being presented to the remarkable 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting campaign, and more precisely, the more than 400 partners comprised of local public television and radio stations, national organizations and producers who promote it.”
This groundbreaking campaign, launched in December, has enlisted more than 350,000 citizen advocates in a station-led grassroots campaign that uses the power of new media to engage Congress and change the tone of the political debate about public broadcasting. The 170 Million Americans campaign leverages the potential of new media like Facebook and Twitter, while utilizing “traditional” techniques like emails and a dedicated website, to alert public broadcasting supporters when Congress is about to take action on a funding issue critical to public broadcasting. In less than four months, advocates in this campaign generated more than 450,000 emails messages to Congress, and countless more telephone calls.
Butler continued: “170 Million Americans was a remarkable achievement that drew upon the energy of the entire station community. But as we all know, every campaign needs a leader, and much of that credit goes to Jeff Nelson of American Public Media. Jeff was not only a passionate spokesman for the creation of the campaign, but he and his colleagues at APM worked tirelessly with their colleagues at APTS in managing the campaign.”
"The most important people in this campaign are in its name - the 170 million Americans who tune in every month to our programming,” said Jeff Nelson, Managing Director, Public Strategy,American Public Media. “Public broadcasting is vital to our country, not because of the institutions we have created, but because of how relevant what we do is to the lives of millions of people in every state. It is an honor to accept this award on behalf our team at American Public Media, our fantastic partners at APTS, and all the national and local organizations that made this possible - and we have just gotten started."
Butler concluded: “The local public television and radio station community deserve the lion’s share of credit for this campaign’s tremendous results. A critical component in making a grassroots campaign successful is the ability to engage the American public and to get them to take action on your behalf. These stations have definitely done that.” More than 120 local public television and radio stations promoted the campaign by either airing spots to raise awareness of the 170 Million Americans campaign, posting links on their websites, posting information about the campaign on their social media pages or sending emails to their members.”
The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization established in 1980. The mission of APTS is to conduct – in concert with member stations – advocacy, planning, research and communications activities in order to achieve strong and financially sound noncommercial television and advanced digital services for the American people. APTS provides consistent leadership and information that helps our members better accomplish their own missions and goals. APTS promotes the legislative and regulatory interests of noncommercial television stations at the national level through direct advocacy, and grasstops and grassroots campaigns designed to garner congressional support.