British Red Cross readies 150th anniversary campaign

The British Red Cross is planning a major publicity drive to mark its 150th anniversary at the end of October.

British Red Cross: working with the Red Crescent in Syria
British Red Cross: working with the Red Crescent in Syria

The campaign will be unusual because it will focus on telling the charity's overall story rather than focusing on specific strands of its work. 

The charity will be talking about its founding principles – for example the importance of neutrality. It will also explain how it is supporting the Red Cross Movement's work in Syria. 

Events will include a photocall of UK volunteers holding pictures of Syrian Red Crescent volunteers killed in action, a social theatre recreation of a refugee camp at Waterloo Station on 15 and 16 November and an exhibition of photographs taken by Paul Conroy, the photographer with The Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin when she was killed in an attack in Syria.

There will be an online and social campaign called "Unsung Heroes" – pairing up celebrity ambassadors with stories of volunteers.

The charity will also release a video explaining its fundamental principles and an Instagram campaign using photos from its archives of its role in two world wars and disasters such as the Aberfan colliery waste tip in Wales in 1966. 

The in-house team will be supported by GolinHarris and Rain Communications. 

"The PR, social media and experiential campaign is part of a concerted push to explain the charity to the UK public and ensure it is better connected to the media, the public and influencers than at any time in the past," said Adrian Thomas, head of media and external relations at the British Red Cross.

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