CAMPAIGNS: Diana dazzles on personal crusade - Public Awareness

The Red Cross has campaigned for a worldwide ban on anti-personnel mines since 1995. Last year, despite donated advertising space and widespread coverage, the British Red Cross experienced a ’real struggle’ to create awareness and raise funds.

The Red Cross has campaigned for a worldwide ban on anti-personnel

mines since 1995. Last year, despite donated advertising space and

widespread coverage, the British Red Cross experienced a ’real struggle’

to create awareness and raise funds.



In November, Diana, Princess of Wales, agreed to attend a film premiere

in aid of the campaign. Following detailed briefings the Princess asked

to see the organisation’s work with landmine victims and a visit to

Angola, one of the countries worst affected by landmines, was

arranged.



Objectives



To regenerate the anti-personnel landmines campaign. To influence

political opinion. To re-establish the Red Cross as the leading

Non-Government Organisation in the worldwide move towards banning

landmines.



Tactics



Scheduling constraints meant that the Red Cross had a week in which to

agree to an itinerary, alert key press and obtain Foreign Office

approval.



To ensure media attention focused on landmines, the trip was positioned

as a working visit, which the Princess undertook as a Red Cross

Volunteer.



On arrival in Angola, media strategy concentrated on organising at least

one photo opportunity per day, and daily briefings to UK and foreign

journalists.



Arrangements included providing producers of BBC TV’s Heart of the

Matter with unprecedented access to the Princess, for their documentary

Diary of a Princess.



In the UK, Conservative MPs accused the Princess of taking a political

stance on the landmines issue but the Red Cross countered this by

emphasising the Princess’s humanitarian role. The Princess reiterated

this message in interviews with PA and three TV news crews.



Results



The visit generated 92 national and 285 regional cuttings, while TV news

coverage totalled almost 90 minutes. The Heart of the Matter was watched

by 5.5 million viewers. A poll on 22 January showed that 90 per cent of

the British public supported a global landmines ban. Between 31 January

and 31 July 1997 the British Red Cross anti-personnel landmines campaign

raised pounds 580,000 compared with under pounds 100,000 in 1996.



Verdict



Journalists and the Red Cross agree that the Princess’ trip had

far-reaching effects. Political criticism largely backfired - to defuse

the row the Conservative Government stated its broad support for the

campaign’s aim.



The Red Cross now has a campaign which is recognised globally and the

organisation is frequently mentioned in media coverage of landmines.



Following her visit, the Princess appeared to adopt the campaign as a

personal crusade. Her involvement coincided with increased commitment

from countries around the world to a total ban on landmines.



Describing her as ’irreplaceable’, the Red Cross now faces the challenge

of continuing the Princess’s work with out her.



Client: The British Red Cross

PR Team: In-house

Campaign: Against anti-personnel landmines

Timescale: 5 to 16 January 1997

Budget: pounds 20,000



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