Voluntary Sector: Claire's Walk a test of heroic endurance

Claire Lomas, who is paralysed from the waist down, wanted to raise £50,000 for the charity Spinal Research by participating in the Virgin London Marathon. Using a robotic ReWalk suit, she completed the 26 miles 385 yards in 17 days.

Claire Lomas: Completed marathon with ReWalk suit
Claire Lomas: Completed marathon with ReWalk suit

Campaign: Claire's Walk
Client: Spinal Research
PR team: Promote PR
Timescale: April-May 2012
Budget: £2,300

 

Objectives

  • To promote Spinal Research and Claire's Walk
  • To help Lomas reach her £50,000 target
  • To win support from celebrities.

Strategy and plan

Before the marathon, Promote PR secured exclusives with the Press Association and ITV News. The team established the hashtag #claireswalk and tweeted celebrities to ask for their support. BBC News and ITV broadcast live interviews when Lomas crossed the finish line, while The Mail on Sunday ran Lomas' exclusive post-race story in exchange for a donation. Promote PR donated a third of its fee.

Measurement and evaluation

Claire's Walk received 125 pieces of national media coverage including front page mentions in The Independent and The Guardian, and more than 3,000 items in the international and regional press.

Results

Lomas has raised more than £200,000. Spinal Research's Facebook page saw a 14 per cent increase in 'likes'. Celebrities including Clare Balding, Richard Branson and Katie Price supported Claire's Walk on Twitter.

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