Women's Institute turns to PR to attract younger members

LONDON - The National Federation of Women's Institutes has hired Crisis media executive Amy Bick to steer its PR efforts as it attempts to increase its appeal among younger women.

The organisation wants to shrug off its old-fashioned reputation and raise its profile as a campaigning body in a bid to drive younger membership. "The NFWI isn't just for older women -- we want to appeal to younger women too," said Bick.

The move follows the success of 'Calendar Girls', a film about Women's Institute members who posed nude for a charity calendar. Bick said the movie "went a long way towards changing the organisation's image".

She plans to publicise the activities of local NFWI members who meet in local pubs and are aged under 35 to show the public "a different side" of the institute.

The organisation celebrates its 90th anniversary this year and intends to use the event to garner publicity.

Younger women's magazines, national press and broadcast news outlets will be targeted in particular, along with youth, health-oriented, environmental, social care and community publications.

Bick replaces Melanie Taylor, who left the organisation to join the British Institute of Innkeeping as corporate communications manager.

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