CAMPAIGNS: A Plan full of East Ender promise - Charity PR

Plan International is a charity which supports children in developing countries. The main focus of its activities is persuading people to sponsor children. To celebrate its 60th anniversary this year it organised Running Water Week since providing clean water is one of the most essential elements of its development work in 40 countries.

Plan International is a charity which supports children in

developing countries. The main focus of its activities is persuading

people to sponsor children. To celebrate its 60th anniversary this year

it organised Running Water Week since providing clean water is one of

the most essential elements of its development work in 40 countries.



Objectives



To raise pounds 103,000 specifically to provide clean water for ten

villages in Senegal, West Africa. To raise awareness of Plan

International and encourage the sponsoring of children.



Tactics



The idea of Running Water Week was decided on and a series of events was

organised to promote it. The main event was to persuade former

EastEnders actress Susan Tully, an existing sponsor, to visit a village

in Senegal and live with the people there for a week to highlight the

hardship they faced collecting water.



She suggested that fellow ex-EastEnders actress Letitia Dean should

accompany her to maximise the story potential. They visited Senegal at

the end of September, accompanied by a TV producer, a freelance

journalist and a photographer.



Running Water Week began on 13 October. Schools around the country were

encouraged to organise sponsored events around the theme of water. Many

arranged water-carrying races which provided good visuals for

stories.



Supporters of Plan International were encouraged to arrange similar

events with a water-based theme. They included ’wine-into-water party’

events and sponsored swims.



Results



The week kicked off with a full-page story in the Daily Mail with a

picture of the actresses in Senegal. The story also featured in Hello!

Appearances on This Morning, Channel 5’s Exclusive and two cable

programmes followed, with footage of Africa supplied. Radio coverage

included Radio 4’s Midweek and Breakaway shows and Radios 2 and 5.



About half the money has been raised, but Plan is confident that when

all the sponsored events are taken into account, the target of pounds

103,000 will be reached. The coverage raised awareness of a charity

that, according to Plan’s PR manager Karen Garvin is ’not very well

known in this country ... We’re not a provider of emergency relief so we

don’t often hit the headlines’.



Verdict



The choice of Tully and Dean was a good one since they are known for

having had tough on-screen lives, and the campaign aims to improve the

lot of women fetching the water.



As well as coverage in the Daily Mail and Hello! some good slots on

radio and television were achieved, but the actresses’ fame could have

been better exploited in the women’s consumer press and broadcast

media.



It’s too early to gauge how much money will be raised, but Garvin claims

that sponsorship enquiries have increased, which is the long-term

goal.



Client: Plan International

PR Team: In-house

Campaign: Running Water Week

Timescale: Aug -Oct, 1997

Cost: Undisclosed



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in