CAMPAIGNS: The new image of Barnardo’s - Internal Communications

In the public’s mind, Barnardo’s, the UK’s largest children’s charity, is still often associated with orphanages and children’s homes - even though it has not been involved in these areas for over 20 years. Barnardo’s is a well known brand whose activities, paradoxically, were not known well. It needed to reflect its current diverse activities working with disadvantaged children, young people and their families, as well as lobbying and campaigning.

In the public’s mind, Barnardo’s, the UK’s largest children’s

charity, is still often associated with orphanages and children’s homes

- even though it has not been involved in these areas for over 20 years.

Barnardo’s is a well known brand whose activities, paradoxically, were

not known well. It needed to reflect its current diverse activities

working with disadvantaged children, young people and their families, as

well as lobbying and campaigning.



Competition has increased from other charities while Barnardo’s

supporter base has aged so there was also a need to attract new sources

of income and corporate sponsorship. Banner McBride was hired as part of

an integrated WPP communications and marketing team in March.



Objective



Communicating Barnardo’s repositioning to employees and volunteers,

highlighting its diverse work and the charity’s importance for the

future of young people and society.



Tactics



Volunteers and employees, who often had little contact with the charity,

needed to be informed and consulted on why a changing emphasis and heavy

spending on marketing and communications were needed.



Key messages to convey the diversity of Barnardos’ workwere developed,

along with tone and style guidelines to ensure consistency between

internal and external communications. New media solutions to

communicating these messages are being developed, including a new

newsletter, a video magazine programme on cassette, an audiotape and a

voluntary communicator network.



Extensive use will also be made of e-mail and an intranet pilot is

planned.



A series of nine one-day communication events called B Live! were held

in June and July for employees and volunteers across the UK to explain

the new marketing and communications strategy. Internal stakeholders

were also involved in the compilation of a campaign report, ’Today and

Tomorrow: investing in our children’ launched in October and in a new

advertising campaign at the beginning of November, both supported by

Cable and Wireless Communications.



Results



Barnardo’s new range of literature, press packs and advertising present

an integrated picture of its work with young people all linked with the

theme of the importance for the future of investing in their early

years.



The campaign report garnered widespread national and regional print and

broadcast coverage. Feedback forms from B Live! indicate that 82 per

cent of participants felt that it helped them to feel more in touch with

Barnardo’s.



One member of staff commented: ’I was impressed that Barnardo’s cares

enough about its staff to put this event on and make them feel a sense

of unity with the organisation as a whole.’



Verdict



The integrated, consultative approach is succeeding in unifying

Barnardo’s fragmented volunteer and employee base which often had little

contact with the central organisation. The relaunch has been used

effectively to create a unity out of the diversity of Barnardo’s

operations. Internal communications are now more closely linked to the

organisation’s strategy and aligned with external communications and

marketing activity.



Launching its campaign report with the theme, ’A Small Part to Play’,

the charity was able to show how failure to invest in children is a

false economy since it creates more serious problems later. This

positioning, supported by national advertising, should give a greater

urgency to the charity’s fundraising appeals.



Campaign: Repositioning Barnardo’s

Client: Barnardo’s

PR Team: Banner McBride, Ogilvy and Mather and in-house team

Timescale: March 1997 to 2000

Cost: Undisclosed



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