Campaign: Marie Curie wins official BUPA Great Run status

Marie Curie Cancer Care was chosen by BUPA to be its nominated charity for the 2006 BUPA Great Run Series, including the Great Edinburgh Run and Great Manchester Run, which both took place in May.

Campaign BUPA Great Run Series - Edinburgh and Manchester
Client Marie Curie Cancer Care
PR team In-house
Timescale January-May 2006
Budget Undisclosed

This was the first time the charity had been nominated by BUPA.

To maximise exposure of Marie Curie Cancer Care and the work it does to provide a better quality of life for sufferers and their families at home and at its hospices. To highlight BUPA's backing to non-sporting audiences, inspire people to run in the Daffodil team and raise £500,000 across the Great Run series.

Strategy and Plan
To provide a hook for media, Marie Curie Cancer Care's celebrity manager secured high-profile participants to talk about their involvement in the two Great Runs in Edinburgh and Manchester.

To make the relationship meaningful, the charity targeted celebrities who had an affinity with its work.

For the Edinburgh event, this included recruiting local TV presenter Bryan Burnett, actresses Sharon Duce, Lesley Nicol and Julie Peasgood, and Andy Kerr MSP.

Celebrity runners for the Man­chester event included actors Denise Welch, Susie Blake and Gary Webster, as well as the BBC Breakfast anchorman Bill Turnbull.

Other key participants were used as case studies for national, business and nursing titles, plus various TV,
radio and newspapers.

Measurement and Evaluation
Print coverage of the Great Edinburgh Run appeared in seven national and consumer publications and 11 regional newspapers. Highlights included interviews in the Scottish Daily Record and on BBC Radio Scotland with Burnett, who was running in memory of Deacon Blue guitarist Graeme Kelling, who was cared for at a Glasgow hospice.

Peasgood appeared on Five, while runner Louise Jackson, whose mother was cared for by Marie Curie nurses, featured in the Scottish Sun. Print coverage of the Great Manchester Run included a four-page spread on Blake and Welch in OK! and an interview in the Daily Express Saturday magazine.

Around 2,700 Marie Curie Cancer Care runners took part in the two events, raising £109,478 to date. These figures are set to increase dramatically in October, following the Great North Run and Great South Run.

Daily Express Saturday senior features writer Denise Dunk says: ‘Welch is a celebrity who our readers recognise and can relate to. The charity was realistic about how far we would be willing to credit the actresses' participation.'

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