Voluntary sector - Tell me why I don't like blue Monday?

Campaign: International Optimism Day

Client: The Optimists Society
PR Team: Amazon PR
Timescale: December 2008-January 2009
Budget: c. £10,000

The Optimists Society, a social group, wanted to reclaim what had become known as 'blue Monday', the most depressing day of the year, as International Optimism Day. Blue Monday was designated as 19 January 2009 and calculated by a combination of things including cold, post-Christmas gloom, debt and broken New Year resolutions.

OBJECTIVES

- To build the Optimists Society's profile

- To drive membership numbers.

STRATEGY AND PLAN

'Packages of cheer' were delivered to gloomy celebrities such as the EastEnders cast, and the society hosted a free comedy gig on blue Monday. Press releases were sent out calling on the public to carry out positive actions before bedtime.

MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION

Coverage included two-and-a-half hours of broadcast on the day and a front-page story on the BBC website. Coverage appeared across the BBC World Service and in Australia, Singapore, South Africa, India and America.

RESULTS

Membership of the Optimists Society has more than trebled, and average monthly hits to the website rose from 5,000 to 225,223. The society has extended its international network to six new countries and International Optimism Day 2010 is already being planned.

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