Pro bono work gathers pace as Firefly and Upward Curve lead the way

Two PR agencies are providing free support to charities and are calling on the wider PR industry to do the same.

Prime: helps people aged over 50 set up in business
Prime: helps people aged over 50 set up in business

Digital specialist Firefly will choose a charity to help next month, while public and third sector specialist Upward Curve has already sel­ected Prime (The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Ent­erprise).

Firefly is offering one charity up to £60,000 of support for a year. It will help its chosen charity to raise awareness through social media.

‘Organisations often jump into the digital fray on an imp­ulse, and then unfortunately don’t succeed,’ said CEO Claire Walker.

‘Those that take the time to plan and develop a digital strategy that is integrated with their overarching communications initiatives will see better results,’ she added. ‘We believe the whole industry should alw­ays give something back, no matter how tough times are.’

Firefly, which has previously worked with Shelter, Xtraordinary People and the Samaritans, will acc­ept applications from charities online for the next month.

Meanwhile Upward Curve has chosen Prime to be its charity of the year for 2009. The charity was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales to help people over the age of 50 set themselves up in business. The agency is offering £10,000 of PR support.

‘We wanted to help an org­anisation that tackles some of the harder issues,’ said director Helen Ashley.

She added: ‘Charities are increasingly becoming aware of how important it is to market themselves in order to be sustainable. In the recession it is harder to find support from larger corporates, which are cutting back on their CSR spend.’

Upward Curve launched its search for a charity in March, and received more than 100 applicants.

It has placed the names and contact details of the remaining applicants on its website, and is urging other PR professionals to help out.

‘We call on our colleagues to help support the list of charities on our website,’ said Ashley.

‘We are all in a recession, but just giving up a day or two of your time would make a huge difference.’

Upward Curve has selected a pro bono charity for the past five years.

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