CAMPAIGNS: Charities PR - Ogilvy raises profile of kids charity PACT

US and UK charity PACT's mission is to fight parental child abduction and help police find abducted children. PACT was founded by Lady Meyer.

Her two sons were abducted in 1994 by her ex-husband. Forty thousand children were reported missing in the UK last year; 1,300 remained missing two weeks after their absence was reported.

Objectives

To raise public awareness of PACT, the issue of parental abduction of children and the charity's efforts to resolve kidnap situations. To ensure media attendance at the launch and gain coverage. To generate publicity for the Police National Missing Persons Bureau's freephone (0808 100 8777) and the police website (http://uk.missingkids.com).

Strategy and Plan

On 13 March, Lady Meyer launched PACT's public awareness campaign. Ogilvy PR co-ordinated media relations in the week prior to and following the launch. Its public affairs practice set up a press office to distribute press releases, background materials and news alerts. PA head Nick Archer and account director Tom Howard-Vyse acted as contacts for journalists and co-ordinated the interviews and the media briefing.

The day before, embargoed interviews were conducted with media including BSkyB, Reuters, IRN and GMTV.

On launch day, interviews commenced with Sky Sunrise at 6.30am. National press, national and regional radio, national TV, newswires and political diaries all conducted interviews.

Ogilvy hosted a photocall at Tesco's flagship store on Cromwell Road in London.

It featured representatives from all parties: Commander Richard Bryan, Association of Chief Police Officers; Chief Inspector Tim Bonnett, National Project Manager of the missingkids website; Lady Meyer; and Ivor Lawrence, Tesco store manager. Meyer, Bryan, Bonnett and Tesco spokesperson John Church were made available for interview. Ogilvy ensured the launch was reported on www.epolitix.com, the portal for politicians and the media.

Measurement and Evaluation

GMTV ran a news item on the morning of the launch. More than 90 per cent of media covering the story interviewed PACT and disseminated the contact information.

The photocall was attended by three photographers from the nationals and one to syndicate images to the regional press. TV crews from Sky and ITN also attended.

Interviews continued for the rest of the week, culminating with features in The Independent and the Daily Mail.

Results

All PACT's target media were hit. None of the media interviews confused PACT's agenda with the unassociated news story of Sarra Fotheringham.

Immediate results included a rise in the number of calls to the National Missing Persons Bureau phone line. Hits on missingkids also increased.

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