Public Sector: Campaign Breakdown - Know Before You Go - football fans

Agency: Weber Shandwick
Client: Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)
Timescale: May 2009 - ongoing
Budget: Undisclosed (as part of overall retainer)

The lowdown

As part of the campaign recently awarded to Weber Shandwick, the agency was briefed to deliver travel safety messages to British football fans planning to travel to Rome for the Champions League final. The general aim is to raise awareness about the preparations fans should undertake when travelling abroad and drive them to the FCO website.

Who is being targeted?

British football fans travelling abroad.

Key strategy and tactics

Weber Shandwick liaised closely with the FCO, the Rome Embassy and the Italian authorities to align all parties on messaging. Statistics on numbers expected were packaged together with travel advice, costs of not taking out insurance and local police intelligence, such as trouble spots. This ensured a strong story with multiple facets for all media. The launch was timed one week ahead of the final, with total media outreach including broadcast interviews.

What happens next?

The Know Before You Go campaign has an ongoing remit to educate all British travellers about travel safety. Weber Shandwick plans to emulate the success of this campaign with the World Cup in South Africa.

What challenges did Weber Shandwick face?

The media's interest in football violence meant a warranted level of concern over the Italian authorities' reaction to sensationalist media coverage. Weber Shandwick had to handle relations with Rome sensitively and asking the mayor of Rome to provide quotes ensured the Italian authorities were supportive.

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