How We Did It: Faye Adams, PR officer, Darwen Borough Council/NHS Blackburn
How did you approach the brief?
We decided that there were two main messages we wanted to get across: that ignoring the issue could potentially have serious consequences; and that help was available. We decided to tie it in with Valentine's Day and make the promotion light-hearted while taking advantage of the increased media focus on relationships. Our strap line was 'make your Valentines day all it could be'. The main challenge was to encourage people to act without scaring them.
How did you interest journalists?
Reporters are always looking for new angles on special days and Valentine's Day is no different, so they were very positive about the story. We also had the advantage that they might not have expected such a bold approach from a council and NHS comms team.
What were the results of the campaign?
We achieved local press coverage and in-house publicity at the council, local firms and partners. The uptake of health checks has increased since we began promoting them.
What advice do you have for other PROs with similar products to pitch?
Don't feel you need to play it safe. If something is an embarrassing issue then run with it. Humour tends to take the sting out of most embarrassing issues so embrace it.