CAMPAIGN: KittenAid hits hard to save unwanted cats

Each summer Cats Protection runs an integrated campaign to raise funds to help the charity look after and re-home the vast number of kittens brought to the charity as a result of un-neutered cats breeding in the warmer weather.

Campaign The KittenAid Appeal
Charity Cats Protection
PR Team In-house
Timescale July to September 2007 Budget £1,080

Last year the appeal (entitled Kitten Crisis) raised £213,000 and gained around 30 items of print coverage. The 2007 campaign, entitled KittenAid, aimed to improve on this.

Objectives
To obtain increased financial support from the charity’s database of donors. To improve on the coverage and awareness generated by Kitten Crisis in 2006

Strategy and plan
The PR team hired an additional media officer in 2007, and a media training programme meant it had access to more spokespeople across the UK.

In July 2007 Cats Protection sent a ‘Vismail’ teaser to the charity’s 18,000 e-subscribers announcing the arrival of Kitten Season and featuring video clips of kittens in the charity’s care. Shortly afterwards, the charity sent mailings to its 94,000 donors.

The charity went for a hard-hitting approach, telling the story of Hope and Hugo, two severely ill kittens being looked after by Cats Protection’s Nat­ional Cat Adoption Centre in Chelwood Gate, Sussex.

Cats Protection’s communications team also informed its 25,000 supporters about KittenAid via an article in the charity’s magazine The Cat, and the charity’s national network of 29 adoption centres and 252 branches discussed kitten season with local media.

Measurement and evaluation
The KittenAid Appeal gained more than 40 items of coverage, including prominent broadcast coverage on BBC channels.

The charity reached an average audience of 1.5 million people on the morning of its broadcast. The KittenAid Appeal was also featured on five major regional radio stations including BBC Radio Newcastle and BBC Radio Cumbria.

Results
The mailouts generated almost 14,000 responses and donations are still coming in. KittenAid beat the Kitten Crisis within the first six weeks, pulling in £244,631.

Many branches saw a surge in enquiries immediately following the broadcast, with many recruiting volunteer fosterers.



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