Class Project: Social Media News Release

Disclaimer: This news release is in no way affiliated with Starbucks, its partners, or Autism Speaks. This is an assignment for a course and this information and quotes are purely fictional.

Image result for starbucks logo with name

March 28, 2017

Coffee retailer provides interactive fundraiser to raise awareness for the Autism Speaks Chapter of Essex County

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Starbucks South Orange is partnering with Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to advancing research into causes and treatments of autism spectrum disorders and related conditions, to raise money for the Essex County autism community beginning April 1, 2017, in support of Autism Awareness Month.

The fundraiser plans to highlight the following:

  • Interested participants will be given puzzles depicting local South Orange scenery ranging from 25-100 pieces.
  • For every puzzle completed, Starbucks agrees to donate $1 to the Autism Speaks Essex County chapter.
  • Upon puzzle completion, participants will sign an Autism Speaks puzzle piece which will be assembled together and gifted to the Autism Speaks Essex County Chapter.
  • The campaign will run until April 30, 2017, with the intent of reaching its goal of $10,000.

Gregory Ray, the manager of Starbucks South Orange, has been an influential voice in bringing this fundraising campaign to the coffee shop’s doorstep. “Starbucks believes in supporting our local community,” says Ray.  “We’ve seen so many of our local families touched by mental disorders and we’re taking this step to show them that we care. It’s not just about completing a 25-piece puzzle on your coffee break. It’s showing the community that you care.”

If the campaign’s goal of $10,000 is reached, Starbucks guarantees to pledge the $1 amount for every puzzle completed afterward. The puzzles will come in 25 different images separated according to difficulty and will depict areas including the South Orange train station and Cameron Park. Participants who complete all 25 images will receive a free Starbucks beverage of their choice.

An interactive puzzle thermometer and detailed information will be available on the Starbucks website at

About Starbucks:  Starbucks is an American coffee company and coffeehouse company based in Seattle since 1971. The company focuses on serving the best coffee possible while inspiring and nurturing the human spirit — one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. For more information, please visit http://starbucks.ocm/about-us.

Contact Information:
Olivia Lason
Starbucks PR Director, Essex County
Phone: 973-444-3322
Twitter: @olason965



(1) Image of puzzle pieces to be signed. Close up on one puzzle piece, highlighting the Starbucks and Autism Speaks logo together. Empty line space, with a pen next to it.

(2) Image of inside South Orange Starbucks with a poster announcing Autism collaboration in the foreground.

(3) Image of puzzle images and quantity count, depicting the different designs of the local puzzles.


Video: Interview with Gregory Ray about the upcoming fundraiser. This video would be published to the South Orange Starbucks page, with the following caption:

Starbucks South Orange will be partnering with the Autism Speaks Chapter of Essex County to support the chapter’s local efforts starting April 1, 2017, for Autism Awareness month. Find out why Gregory Ray, manager of Starbucks South Orange, chose this cause to help his South Orange community in his interview here! For more information, please visit for more details.

*note: the first picture is mine. I do not claim authority over the last two, found via google since I couldn’t the graphics I wanted. I have included those descriptions above, which I would make accessible in the actual SM release.*


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