CAMPAIGNS: Local Government PR - Adoptions up as Southwark aids new law

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.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in