CIPR PRide Awards 2011: Thames and Chiltern - Orchid's in full bloom

Pub and restaurant group's Suit Amnesty campaign fits the bill.


The Suit Amnesty by The Orchid Group

Pub and restaurant firm The Orchid Group was looking to boost awareness of its The Living Room chain, particularly among the business community. To generate interest, it launched its Suit Amnesty campaign asking people to donate their unwanted suits. These would then be handed out among homeless and disadvantaged jobseekers to boost their prospects in career interviews. This was backed by research showing that not owning a suit was one of the biggest barriers to applying for a job. Running between January and March this year, the campaign attracted articles including in The Sun, Daily Express and Vogue. More than 2,000 suits were donated and handed to 22 charities to distribute. Gary and Danielle Lineker were among those endorsing the campaign. All those who donated a suit received a 20 per cent food discount, with about 850 being redeemed during spring this year. Visitors to The Living Room's site increased by 14 per cent during the campaign.



Growth in turnover of 42 per cent between 2009 and 2010 was among the standout figures from Bottle that impressed judges. During the period, it put more focus on online comms, which now accounts for about a quarter of all its work across a roster of more than 30 clients. Consumer clients include My Tuxedo and Fabulous Bakin', with b2b clients including Rentokil and Proskills. Poundland is among its most high-profile and longstanding clients.



Since launching in 2009, CubanEight has doubled its turnover and retained 90 per cent of its clients. Work for clients that impressed judges included its promotion of Oxfam Unwrapped, the charity's gift range, during the lead up to Christmas 2010, when 70 per cent of its sales take place. The charity felt that the novelty of Oxfam Unwrapped had worn off since its launch in 2004. To reinvigorate the brand, CubanEight created an Oxfam Pantomime Goat called Archie, who appeared in pantomimes across the UK and took part in photocalls with panto celebrities at local Oxfam shops. High profile bloggers such as Sally Whittle, who is behind the Who's The Mummy blog, were also targeted.


Make a Difference by Sovereign Housing Group

To ensure it was more accountable to its 30,000 residents across the South and South West of England, Sovereign Housing Group decided to create a network of regional residents' panels and a residents' council to take part in its decision-making process. Judges were impressed with the interest the group's campaign Make a Difference generated through internal comms, the publication of a recruitment information pack and the use of Facebook. The team exceeded its target of 150 applications by 79. Of these, there were 71 online applications and 48 had been referred by staff through an internal comms campaign called Recommend a Resident. Of those who applied, 51 per cent had not taken part in similar activity before.

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