Campaign: Beatbullying calls in celebrity ambassador - Voluntary Sector

Campaign: Launch of bbclic.com

Client: Beatbullying

PR team: Frank PR

Timescale: October 2004

Budget: Less than £500 (pro bono)

Bullying affects more than 60 per cent of children. New charity Beatbullying was set up to help tackle the problem outside school, where most bullying takes place. Its point of difference is that it is about peer-to-peer support, with children rather than schools and other adult institutions involved in the activities of the charity. Beatbullying approached Frank PR to launch its website www.bbclic.com, developed to appeal to teenagers.

Objectives

To generate maximum exposure for the launch of bbclic.com and drive young people between the ages of 11 and 16 to the website.

Strategy and Plan

The team wanted to highlight the scale of today's bullying problem by creating a newsworthy image and story to ensure widespread coverage in the media.

The most effective way to do this was to find a celebrity to front the campaign, but to ensure credibility it was essential that this ambassador had been bullied in the past.

Glamour model and girl-about-town Jodie Marsh had been a victim of bullying, and agreed to be the Beatbullying ambassador. She was made up by a leading special-effects make-up artist to recreate how she looked when she had been beaten up by yobs at school.

The aim was to reach as many people as possible, so all national press and broadcast news and local media were sent the picture and the release the day before the press launch.

The launch event was attended by Marsh, who did a live demonstration of the website. Other celebrities, including boy-band Phixx, also attended.

Beatbullying's directors were at the launch, but the bulk of the event was presented by three children aged under 15.

Measurement and Evaluation

More than 40 journalists attended the launch. Beatbullying and bbclic.com were featured in the Evening Standard, The Sun, The Star, The Times and the Daily Record, as well as on Sky News and ITN Lunchtime News. The story also ran on The Press Association's newswire.

The story was covered by more than 60 regional newspapers and radio stations. Marsh also appeared on GMTV and London Tonight.

Results

In the 24 hours after the launch, bbclic.com had more than 150,000 visitors, rising to one million two weeks later. A PA showbusiness journalist says: 'Bullying is relevant to so many people, and the picture of Marsh really made the story.'

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