Tag Archives: cancer

Macmillan strikes it lucky with tube tweet

30 Apr

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Relax. The tube strikes are over…for now. But, in the few days they caused chaos in the capital, they had a great publicist: front page of the Evening Standard, infographics and a hashtag! It’s a hat-trick that PRs like me can only dream of.

But, while you were complaining/celebrating/not caring (delete as appropriate) about how industrial action brought London to a standstill, some charities were planning a clever social media campaign.

Macmillan Cancer Support piggybacked off Twitter’s ‘tubestrikes’ hashtag to promote its services, accompanied with a simple graphic using the iconic London Underground key. Meanwhile, Save the Children put the disruptions into perspective by comparing the ‘madness’ in London to Syria.

Macmillan’s tweet may only have been retweeted 140 times, but it had wit, talkability and relevance on its side adding to its pulling power (despite it repeatedly tweeting the image to different media outlets in quick succession – a no no for me as mentioned in this blog.)

In the same fashion, Save the Children’s infographic scores highly on the shareability scale because it summarises an issue in an instant. So, it’s no surprise it’s caught the attention of BBC, The Independent and the Daily Mirror to name a few.

But, these tweets aren’t successful because they’ve been seen thousands of times in the last day. They’re successful because they’ve raised awareness of the charity at zero cost – a ‘quick win’ result that a PR, marketing or social media agency just can’t contend with.

With tube strikes set to land in London again next week, expect other organisations to jump on the bandwagon (remember all those #nomakeupselfie variations?) But one thing’s for sure – it won’t be as innovative the second time round.

What do you think of these mini campaigns?

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Remember, remember the success of Movember

27 Oct

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In just a few days time, men (and some brave women) will spend the month growing and grooming their moustaches for Movember, a fundraising campaign to support Prostate Cancer UK.

Launching 10 years ago in Australia, the rise and rise of the Movember movement has taken the world by storm. In 2012, 21 countries took part raising more than £92m.

Here’s a look at how some of Movember’s partners are making the most of their involvement. Please note, I’m bypassing Gillette because a PR match made in heaven like this doesn’t need an extra plug.

HP Sauce
HP Sauce is continuing its sponsorship of Movember by giving its bottles a tache makeover, but going one step further to create a Mo Bros roadshow. Packed with competitions and games for university students across the country, this PR and marketing stunt is supported by Facebook.

Byron
Byron is giving away a free burger to every Mo Bro that raises more than £25 for charity. With hundreds of thousands of participants in the UK alone last year, this is a very brave gesture for the restaurant chain. But it’s also hoping to attract customers with a new limited edition Mo’shroom burger. Fifty pence will be donated to Movember for every one sold next month.

Mr Men
The creators of Mr Men have launched a new character – Mr Mo – to star in a new book. As the first new character in four years, it’s sure to be a collectors’ item and is a great PR story to continue raising Movember’s profile. But Hargreaves should be careful not to over expose his collection, following Mr Funny (Red Nose Day) and Mr Cheeky (Children With Leukaemia). If every charity has one it will lose credibility.

The Movember autumn collection
TOMS, Eleven Paris and Links of London have created a bespoke collection of t-shirts, shoes and accessories for Mo Bros. A proportion of the profits will be donated to charity to make a difference. So if you can’t grow a tache, you can wear one.

My only issue is that moustaches have been marketed by lots of retailers earlier this year, encouraging people to cheat the system. In any other situation you could argue that imitation is the best form of flattery, but not when charity’s involved.

But, the reason Movember’s been so successful is a) it has its own identity that doesn’t shout about ‘cancer’ and b) it focuses on the positive, adopting the ‘here’s what you can do for us’ approach, making Movember interesting, intriguing and fun. So many others have a ‘here’s what will happen if you don’t help us’ attitude.

It’s also refreshing that its partners put the initiative first. No piggybacking or promoting, these brands have come up with genuine ways of raising extra cash. Maybe that’s why journalists don’t mind writing about it. The likes of MSN, Daily Express, Daily Star and the Metro have already picked it up and will undoubtedly do so again during the month.

Are you prepared for Movember? Watch this space to see how much is raised.

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Peter Andre serves decent coffee from a skip

12 Sep

Celebrity Peter Andre must be ‘Insania’ if he’ll attend the opening of a skip. But, hey we’re PRs; we can make it happen.

He turned up outside the Houses of Parliament yesterday to launch United Coffee‘s new campaign, called ‘Make Decent Coffee‘, encouraging people to throw their instant blends away into the skip in exchange for a decent cup of freshly roasted and ground coffee.

One of the country’s leading coffee providers, United Coffee is keen to spread the word that you don’t have to be a Starbucks, Nero or Costa barista to enjoy the taste of real coffee. And why should we? I lose all my self-confidence asking for a fancy ‘skinny grande latte’ under pressure in ‘those’ queues.

It’s not the first time that a coffee company has based a campaign on the experience of enjoying authentic coffee at home, but it is the first that I can think of asking people to trade their instant granules in. It’s a nice idea to directly engage with consumers, raise brand awareness and, depending on how much coffee is collected, generate some additional newshooks for the brand later down the line.

It’s good to have a simple, clear coffee message too. I’m surprised consumers aren’t more confused about coffee: ‘Is it good for me, is it bad for me?’ It generates masses of column inches each week amongst national and consumer press, with its powers changing every time.

Here are some of the most recent coffee stories that made the papers:

1) Coffee offers protection from bowel cancer: Research from the US National Cancer Research Institute has found that drinking several cups a day can cut the risk of developing a tumor by between 15% and 25%.

2) A coffee a day will keep your work pains away: Scientists from the University of Oslo in Norway found volunteers who had a latte before they tackled 90 minutes of intensive screen-based work suffered fewer pains in their neck, shoulders, arms and wrists than those who went espresso free.

3) Latte coffe a day will pile on 10lb: According to the fitness trainers’ body, the Register of Exercise Professionals, one sweetened milky drink from chains like Costa can have over four times the calories of an ordinary cup.

How does that make you feel? If that’s made you thirsty, United Coffee is giving away free samples at London Waterloo and London Victoria stations tomorrow.

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