CIPR Excellence Awards 2005: Corporate Social Responsibility - ITV gets Britons walking with stepometer events

Campaign: Britain On The Move

Client: ITV

PR team: In-house

Timescale: April-September 2004

Budget band: £100,000 to £1,000,000

Last year, ITV decided to use its position as a high-profile national broadcaster with a network of regional programmes to encourage Britons to take more exercise. Objectives

To urge a million people to walk more regularly, with a target of at least 10,000 steps per day.

Strategy and Plan

Initial programming centred around the regional recruitment of 1,400 'ITV First Footers' - media-friendly viewers who would benefit from gentle exercise and help create a pool of case studies for use in subsequent features. Each of these were given a Stepometer and asked to keep an exercise diary.

The broadcaster changed its schedule to include dedicated half-hour programmes in each of the eleven ITV regions, complemented by items in regional news, as well as mentions on GMTV and This Morning.

Even Coronation Street, Britain's most-watched drama with a regular audience of 12 million viewers, carried a storyline linked to the Britain On The Move campaign.

All programming was supported off-air by a website, funded by Microsoft, giving information on the benefits of walking. The site also included a 'Walks Bible' of more than 1,000 walking events around the country, and details of how to acquire Stepometers.

Journalists from all the major national newspapers, as well as politicians and opinion formers attended a Westminster launch event. The campaign culminated in ITV's National Day of Walking in September. Events took place across the country, including a star-studded Prince's Trust gathering in Trafalgar Square where 20,000 people clocked up two million steps.

Measurement and Evaluation

Support from partners, including the Department of Health (obesity costs the public purse up to £2.5bn a year), Sport England, The Countryside Agency, The Ramblers' Association and the British Heart Foundation meant diverse coverage was achieved. This included pieces in The Sunday Times, The Guardian, and the Financial Times, as well as The Wokingham Times, The Rambler and Country Walking Magazine.


More than half a million Stepometers were distributed through the high-street stores of O2 and The Outdoor Group (Millets and Blacks), and mail order. More than £150,000 was raised for charity through the sale of Stepometers and donations.

The walking website notched up more than 14 million hits during the course of the campaign, while more than a million people called the dedicated telephone helpline to apply for a Britain On The Move information pack.

The organised walks around the country have also been hailed as a success.

An independent evaluation of Britain On The Move by the British Heart Foundation found that 97 per cent of people believed it should be an annual event. The Ramblers' Association has built its Walking Week around the repeat 2005 event.

'There is a public appetite for this kind of campaign and I think Britain On The Move was imaginative,' says Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell.

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