Adopting award-winning campaigns

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You can’t help but sit back and marvel at the intelligent and results-driven campaigns that our industry produces on a weekly basis. In a world where three letters – ROI – hold such importance, it’s campaigns that deliver exactly that which continue to hit the headlines and bag awards.

After a week of wins at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) North West PRide Awards, I didn’t have to look very far for such an example. Peppermint walked away on Thursday with not one, but two awards for its campaign ‘Once upon a Family’ for Blackburn with Darwen Council’s adoption service, Let’s Adopt.

Not-for-Profit: Gold; Public Sector: Silver. So, what did we do to produce an award-winning campaign? After staging a highly successful launch for the service in 2014, we were tasked with boosting ongoing awareness.

Put simply, Let’s Adopt helps to create loving, everlasting homes for children who need caring parents. Our brief was simple – communicate the magic of family life.

Our specific objectives were to:

  • Increase the number of enquiries to Let’s Adopt and position it as a reputable agency
  • Drive traffic to and get people talking about adoption
  • Lay the foundations for greater share-of-voice for Let’s Adopt, specifically during National Adoption Week in October 2016.

On studying other, somewhat ‘samey’ adoption campaigns from around the country, it was clear to us that we needed to take a risk to create genuine stand-out for Let’s Adopt. We persuaded the client to take a chance – they had to embrace what real family life was like if they were to attract attention.

It was agreed that Let’s Adopt would be the honest, straight-talking adoption agency and, so, ‘Once Upon a Family’ was born. It set out to be unlike any other family advice group and would tell it like it is, through a community-focused event and a storybook filled with emotive, real-life tales.

As with all councils, money was almost too tight to mention, so we formulated a strategy that would not only allow Let’s Adopt to become an integral part of the community, but also create a tangible resource for key members of their team.

Our split the campaign into two main phases:

Phase one – Create and screen a short video highlighting the importance of childhood memories and the need for more adopters. We coupled this with face-to-face engagement at a Blackburn Rovers home game, chosen for its wide-ranging demographic, including families.

Phase two – Launch a book containing real-life, ‘warts and all’ stories, designed to give an insight into adopted children’s emotions and to act as support to the youngsters themselves, promoting the message of family life throughout.

Through comprehensive media relations activity, coupled with sending the book to key targets, we secured interviews with case studies and experts in print, online and broadcast media.

So, what did our campaign produce?

  • A 100 per cent increase in web traffic on the day before the Blackburn Rovers event when coverage landed
  • Doubled the average number of enquiries per month, in comparison to previous years
  • Coverage across target regional print and broadcast media, such as the Lancashire Evening Telegraph, BBC Radio Lancashire and The Bee
  • 100 per cent of coverage included the campaign’s key messages, with all radio broadcast coverage mentioning
  • The creation of the storybook, giving the Let’s Adopt team a lasting, viable tool
  • The Blackburn Rovers event’s success resulted in Peppermint Soda’s contract being extended to allow for phase two to take place.

The proof is in the pudding, as they say. If you’d like your business to be shaken up by one of our award-winning campaigns, contact [email protected]