CAMPAIGNS: Mako charity donation day benefits kids - Charity/Corporate PR

Client: Mako Global PR Team: In-house/Vanbrugh Financial Communications Campaign: Dealing for Donations Day Timescale: May-September 2003 Budget: Retainer, project cost undisclosed

Each year, financial derivatives company Mako Global donates to charity, and this year wanted to help Children in Crisis (CiC).

Objectives

To raise money for CiC. To raise the profile of the charity in the financial community.

Strategy and Plan

Mako's PR team decided to create a day in the trading calendar when global financial institutions would donate to a charity together - this year, Children in Crisis - by giving either a percentage of the day's profit, a lump sum or donating their dealing commission for the day. The inaugural Dealing for Donations Day (DfDD) was set for 18 September.

Vanbrugh then created a range of new angles to generate a steady stream of coverage in the targeted publications to attract big-name participants.

These included updates of which firms had agreed to participate, lists of what donations could buy for a needy child, and one pinned on the potential impact of Hurricane Isabel on trading in the US.

Vanbrugh then worked with CiC sister charity in the US, Chances for Children, and tailored the UK press releases for the US media.

Measurement and Evaluation:

CNBC Europe agreed to present a series of 50 newsreels prior to DfDD, and Futures and Options World ran several stories, as did Mako's main target title, Financial News.

An interview with a senior Mako executive ran on LBC radio throughout the day on DfDD, and the NASDAQ billboard in New York's Times Square promoted the event.

The Times, Futures and Options Week, FX-Week, Hedge Funds Review, Pensions Week, Investment Adviser and UK Fundraising all ran the story.

Results

The campaign raised £140,000 for CiC, and raised the charity's profile in the community by enlisting participants such as Eurex, STOXX, the Chicago Board of Trade, and NYMEX Charitable Foundation. Mako plans to repeat the event next year.

'A lot of the success was down to pro-active PR; it was presented to us in a lively fashion and with a high degree of determination and persistence,' Financial News associate editor Mike Foster said.

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