After their daughter was murdered in 2002, Sally and Bob Dowler set up Milly's Fund to raise awareness about teenager safety to parents.
Last year, O2 chose the fund as its Charity of Choice and drafted in Jackie Cooper PR to come up with a campaign to enable the mobile giant to promote the charity's aims.
To develop a campaign that could involve O2 staff and lend itself to O2 in-store marketing initiatives. To raise awareness of the initiative among parents, children and the general public.
Strategy and Plan
To launch the Teach UR Mum 2 Txt PR campaign, O2, JCPR and Milly's Fund decided to produce and distribute booklets to children and adults offering advice about how to text.
After receiving endorsement from personal safety charity Suzy Lamplugh Trust (SLT), JCPR and O2 timed the launch of the campaign to coincide with Family Awareness Day during SLT's National Safety Week. The team then offered exclusive controlled interviews with the Dowlers to The Times, The Sun and the Evening Standard to achieve high-impact national coverage on the day of the launch.
A photocall and press conference with Suzy Lamplugh's husband Peter and the Dowlers, including Milly's 17-year-old sister, was arranged, followed by interviews with the BBC to support the corporation's 'Talking Teenagers' initiative. Over the next three months, the Dowlers gave interviews in regions where O2's 'how 2 txt' training bus was touring in an attempt to interest local communities in the campaign.
Measurement and Evaluation
The campaign generated 162 print articles, including a front-page news story in The Times and coverage in six other nationals. There was extensive regional and online coverage, and 125 broadcast pieces appeared on TV. Three national and 11 local BBC radio stations covered the story, along with several programmes aimed at teens, such as Newsround and Radio 1 Newsbeat. According to Metrica, 58 per cent of UK adults were reached, with each exposed to the campaign an average of 2.1 times.
All coverage conveyed the key personal safety message. Demand for the 125,000 booklets was so high following the campaign that O2 raised funds to print another 500,000. The campaign is still ongoing, with O2's in-house team working closely with BBC Radio Derby to provide texting clinics.
However, there was some negative feedback. 'The photocall wasn't well organised,' says The Daily Telegraph news reporter Nicole Martin. 'We felt broadcasters were treated better than the press.'