Public Sector: Geronimo to publicise National Lottery benefits

The National Lottery Promotions Unit (NLPU) is using Geronimo Public Relations as its first retained agency to show where lottery cash is being invested.

The account is worth more than £250,000 and features a string of campaigns: the launch of the first National Lottery Day and the National Lottery Awards in November; the blue plaque campaign; and a children and young people campaign, which has yet to launch.

NLPU head of media relations Greg Hayman said the latter campaign aimed 'to show what the lottery has done for children, from sport to health to heritage, and targets adults'.

The media relations-based campaign will highlight programmes such as 'young roots', run by the Heritage Lottery Fund to educate young people in what heritage means in terms of the built and natural environment.

Other programmes for young people include the Big Lottery Fund's £750m 'sport for schools', and the Heritage Fund's Public Parks initiative, a £380m programme to regenerate parks and gardens. Specialist and national press will also be targeted.

The blue plaque campaign, previously managed by Harrison Cowley (HC), presents photo opportunities of the plaques, given out in recognition of projects the lottery has helped fund.

'Giving out blue plaques is a way of recognising what the lottery has done on a local level- they present photo opportunities which are particularly good for the local press,' Hayman added.

The unit - half -funded by lottery operator Camelot and half by lottery distributors, such as the Art and Sport Councils - was set up in August 2003. It followed research carried out by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which showed most people did not know where lottery funding went but wanted to know how their local area had benefited.

Euro RSCG Biss Lancaster worked on the unit's tenth birthday celebrations last year. Biss Lancaster, HC, Consolidated Communications and Freud Communications pitched for the brief.

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