Public Sector: Campaign breakdown

Outdoor Play
Agency: The Forster Company
Client: The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF)
Timescale: April-ongoing
Budget: Undisclosed

- The lowdown

DCSF has launched a nationwide campaign aimed at overcoming the barriers that prevent parents from allowing their children to play outdoors. The Central Office of Information (COI) commissioned the project on behalf of DCSF and began work with Forster to develop the strategy for the campaign in January.

- Why is it happening now?

Research shows more than 80 per cent of children would prefer to play outdoors, and parents - in principle - believe children should be free to experience adventurous play. However, concerns about safety and perceptions about poor or non-existent facilities are inhibiting outdoor play in England, where a quarter of all eight- to ten-year-olds have never played outside without an adult.

- Who is being targeted?

Parents and local authorities.

- Strategy and tactics

Outdoor - Play aims to inspire and support local authorities in promoting outdoor play through new outdoor play areas. Forster has produced an online resource for local authorities that contains strategic guidance and materials for councils wishing to deliver communications activities relating to new and refurbished play areas. This consists of a series of guides including adaptable communications materials, available at www.dcsf.gov.uk/campaigns/outdoor_play.

- What challenges does the campaign face?

A Forster spokesperson said: 'We had a tight time frame to complete the campaign, which was developed from scratch in just three months. It was a case of ensuring we had effective contingencies in place for all stages of the campaign so there would be no delays if anything didn't go to plan.'

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