CAMPAIGNS: Community PR - Pool's perks for Glasgow water babies

Client: Glasgow City Council

PR Team: In-house

Campaign: Free swimming

Timescale: April 2001- ongoing

Budget: pounds 15,000

Glasgow City Council is one of Britain's largest local authorities,

serving around 600,000 people. As part of its social inclusion programme

to improve the citizens' long-term health, the Council introduced free

swimming for Glaswegians under 18 years of age.


To build awareness of the programme among parents and schoolchildren

Strategy and Plan

A multi-faceted marketing strategy began by sending mail shots to

parents via the city's 300-plus schools, urging them to register. Ads

also appeared in Glasgow's press, and children were targeted through

schools and leisure centres where staff wore promotional T-shirts and


Glasgow design agency Curious Oranj produced a series of designs for

48-sheet billposters and A3 posters.

A week prior to launch, key journalists were mailed a 'message in a

bottle' (featured at London's 'Promotions and Incentives Fair')

containing a press release. The two-legged media campaign targeted local

newspapers and radio with light-hearted material and broadsheets with

hard-hitting messages on social inclusion and serious health issues.

Radio was chosen for 40 per cent of media with a paid, co-promotion

agreement with Clyde 1 FM for the launch.

Measurement and Evaluation

BBC Scotland news and regional TV covered the programme. Stories in The

Herald and The Scotsman were backed up by local coverage in the Glasgow

Evening Times, and the Sunday Herald ran a full page addressing the

social inclusion message.


With one pool reporting a 3,256 per cent rise in use compared with last

year, results have exceeded expectations. Swimming is up 250 per cent

with 30,000 free swims taken in just one week.

Indications suggest expected losses of pounds 250,000 in revenue have

been offset by the increase in paying adults accompanying children.

Associated sports centres services are also reporting turnover


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