Public Sector: Campaign Breakdown - North East Big Drink Debate

Agency: Gardiner Richardson
Client: Balance
Timescale: June to July
Budget: Undisclosed

The lowdown

Balance - the North East alcohol office - has launched the Big Drink Debate to assess the impact of alcohol on the region. The initiative aims to provide a comprehensive study of attitudes towards drinking, by encouraging members of the public to fill in a questionnaire. Gardiner Richardson was appointed to handle the PR strategy.

- Who is being targeted?

Both drinkers and non-drinkers across the North East.

- Why is it happening now?

A recent report highlighted that the North East has the highest rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions in the country. This is believed to be fuelling crime and the fear of crime. Between April and December 2008, the three North East police forces dealt with more than 4,500 alcohol-related domestic incidents.

- Strategy and tactics

Gardiner Richardson used print, broadcast and social networking. At two public launch events a cocktail barman, bar and street theatre performance were placed in two key locations, handing out non-alcoholic cocktails and beer mats promoting the survey.

- What else has been done?

The agency has also devised on-street promotional teams to allow people to complete the survey via PDAs.

- What challenges does the campaign face?

PR account manager Matt Forster said: 'The trick was sustaining coverage. We have achieved this by supplying a tailored list of potential stories.'

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