Client: Southwark Council
PR Team: In-house
Campaign: 'I never thought I could'
Timescale: 27 March - ongoing
Budget: pounds 60,000
The Labour government recently gave adoption law an overhaul, calling
for a 40 per cent increase in adoption placements, putting pressure on
local authorities to step up their recruitment process.
To recruit more adopters, specifically targeting those who consider
themselves ineligible including over 45's, singles, and gays and
Strategy and Plan
The Southwark team began by creating a clear brand image. A new logo was
designed, information packs were revamped making them easier to use and
all other materials were given a uniform identity.
Buses bound for central London were emblazoned with slogans like
'valued, wanted, needed' using images aimed directly at the target
groups. The BBC's Changing Rooms star Anna Ryder-Richardson, who is
adopted herself and has criticised local authorities for being too
'fussy' in its recruitment of adopters, endorsed the media relations leg
of the campaign.
A 'never say no to the media' policy was embedded in-house and Southwark
is now gaining a more media friendly reputation.
Measurements and Evaluation
The campaign generated significant TV coverage. The BBC featured
Southwark workers and the campaign on Black Britain's 'All mixed up' and
on appeals programme A Family of My Own. Granada's cable channel,
Wellbeing, interviewed campaign leader Tracy McLauchlan and a foster
mum. The campaign also won the approval of the gay press with
substantial features in Diva and in Gay Times.
Because the adoption process takes so long - at best about nine months -
it's too soon to evaluate if the Southwark has had the right quality of
responses. Only ten per cent of people who come forward actually end up
adopting. But in terms of recruiting, figures are definitely up. Between
27 March and 1 June, 204 people came forward. Of those, 38 have since
been visited by social workers.