CAMPAIGNS: Community Relations; Barclays looks into the future

Campaign: Barclays New Futures Client: Barclays Bank Sponsorship team: Kallaway Timescale: Five years from February 1995 Budget: pounds 5 million, with pounds 150,000 annual promotional budget.

Campaign: Barclays New Futures

Client: Barclays Bank

Sponsorship team: Kallaway

Timescale: Five years from February 1995

Budget: pounds 5 million, with pounds 150,000 annual promotional budget.



A review of Barclays’ sponsorship activities, and the inclusion of an

explicit clause on social responsibility in its corporate mission

statement, led to the instigation of a community projects scheme -

tailored to Barclays’ specific requirements by sponsorship consultant

Kallaway. The scheme involves the pounds 5 million sponsorship of a

five-year initiative designed to help young people in secondary

education participate in community work, and to encourage the training

of socially useful skills among the young.



Objectives



To encourage schools and their pupils ‘to forge positive and purposeful

links with their community’. At the same time, to emphasise Barclays’

role as a supporter of community-based social action projects, and

enhance the bank’s image as a socially responsible company.



Tactics



Kallaway worked with Barclays to create the scheme as a educational

project ‘with integrity’ from scratch, and secured the collaboration of

charity Community Service Volunteers.



Applications were invited from schools to run two-year schemes which

addressed issues such as truancy, care in the community, bullying,

racism, anorexia, vandalism, homelessness, alcohol and drug abuse and

Aids.



A total of pounds 1 million a year in cash and service support was made

available. Cash awards of up to pounds 8,000, plus professional support

were offered. With a further pounds 150,000 spent annually on limited

advertising, in-store promotion and project management and PR handled by

Kallaway.



The scheme deliberately aimed to provide staff support to avoid adding

to the burden of work of teachers. This was done to avoid any potential

political controversy prompted by a commercial sponsor being perceived

as brow-beating teachers into unpaid additional work.



In June, Barclays Bank announced the first tranche of winners of the

Barclays New Futures Awards. A total of 85 schemes covering over 160

secondary and special schools, from among 652 applications, received

pounds 1 million in cash and service support.



The schemes went ‘live’ during this autumn with the beginning of the

school year. Successful schemes include a south Wales school’s anonymous

help-line staffed by trained youth volunteers, which has received 17,000

calls, and another school’s ‘buddying’ programme between its pupils and

a spinal injuries unit.



The next round of promotion to encourage applications for the next

tranche of applications is about to begin.



Results



Press and broadcasting coverage has been encouraging, with the scheme

attracting 18 national press articles, over 200 regional press cuttings,

a handful of national radio and TV mentions, 22 regional radio and TV

pieces, and several dozen uses of a syndicated radio piece made

available to local radio stations.



Verdict



Barclays New Futures claims to be the biggest commercial educational

sponsorship to date, exceeding the scale of Tesco’s Computers for

Schools shopping scheme. So far coverage has been fair in its scale and

tone, with the Barclays involvement normally made clear in any editorial

mentioned.



But the real value of the scheme to Barclays will be in its ability to

encourage long-term grass roots participation and awareness beyond a

simple column inch count, while avoiding any backlash and booby traps

which face commercial sponsors in the education field. So far, so good.

But for pounds 5 million, Barclays will be expecting big - and positive

-results.



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