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Industry Public awareness
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Released July 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best Integrated Campaign Led by PR
Product/Service: SOCIAL WORK
Chairman: Karen Harris (Tvc Group)
Commercial Director: Adam Clyne (Tvc Group)
Account Director: Daisy Wallace (Tvc Group)
Creative Director: Greg Lappage (Tvc Group)
Associate Director: Eddie Hammerman (Tvc Group)
Account Executive: Natalie Jackson (Tvc Group)
Senior Editor: Matt Shutler (Tvc Group)
Editor: Jamie Stern (Tvc Group)
Media placement: TV - 36 Spots - GMTV, BBC Breakfast, ITV News, Sky News, Five News, BBC London, ITV London, Chan - 1st September 2009
Media placement: Radio - Over 27 Spots - BBC Radio 4, LBC, BBC Radio 5 Live, Heart, BBC Radio 1 Xtra, BBC London, Smooth, - 1st September 2009
Media placement: Online- Over 80 Hits - Guardian, Hello, Community Care, BBC, Marketing Week, Human Resources, Tiscali, - 1st September 2009
Media placement: Social Media - All Key Channels - Twitter, Facebook, Bespoke Website - 19th August 2009
Media placement: Print - 8 Pieces Of National Coverage - The Sun, The Guardian, Daily Mirror, Daily Express, The Independent, - 1st September 2009
Summary of the Campaign
Who wants to be a social worker? In 2009 the tragic death of Baby P cast a shadow over the sector as people left the profession and created a shortfall of people in this most challenging and rewarding profession. We were tasked with creating a positive conversation about the role that social workers play in society by tackling the negativity in the media, inspiring people to consider social work as a career and ultimately drive job applications. We developed an overarching creative theme: Help Give Them A Voice symbolising the role of a social worker; a voice for people who otherwise go unheard. As part of a fully integrated campaign we generated online conversation through social media, sparking genuine public debate. This was supported by the creation of edgy and thought provoking content. We used a variety of celebrity endorsement in films - including Samantha Morton and Goldie who spent much of their childhood in care. This culminated in a TV advertising campaign aimed at converting this new perception into job applications. Overall, the campaign encouraged more than 20,000 people to express an interest/apply for a career in social work. This was a truly unprecedented campaign for DCSF.
The Goal
-Demonstrate the positive, vital and life saving work undertaken by social workers. -Challenge the public perception of social workers within society.-Inspire people to consider the career, especially older professionals.-Drive job applications. -Start a genuine debate. -Engage an online audience with thought provoking content. From new graduates to those returning to the profession, we had to engage a wide national demographic. Research and strong statistics from the Children’s Workforce Development Council revealed that social workers offer a platform to the most vulnerable in society, when otherwise they would not be heard.
-Over the 10 days more than 20,000 applied for a career in social work. -50,000 people visited the website.-136,000 people watched the films on YouTube.-36 pieces of terrestrial television coverage. -80+ pieces of online coverage.-Nearly every national broadsheet and tabloid covered the story.-25+ national and regional radio interviews.-The campaign reached 40m people.-A key long term ROI was the societal shift in attitude towards the profession, which will lead to greater retention of social workers.-Social workers talked about their own sense of pride at seeing the complexity and sheer difficulty of their jobs.We saw a media u-turn that went from damning the 'incompetence' of social workers to "social workers (being) the nation’s unsung heroes". Social workers became those "whose success can save and transform lives" and were doing "a vital job" in society.
The Help Give Them A Voice campaign ran over a ten-day period.We developed social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr) and a 'conversation website' to view content, join the debate and apply for jobs.We created emotive films based on real life case studies and used six actors (many with personal links to social work). The actors played people needing help but the voices were of the person in the situation (e.g. Alpha male, Goldie’s voice was a young mum’s struggling to cope).We released this content online over the ten days including behind the scenes interviews about why actors got involved. We engaged with Twitter and Facebook communities using Tweeters such as Stephen Fry and Stella McCartney to build conversation. This culminated in a media day with Government Minister Ed Balls talking about his plans for the profession and Goldie speaking about his personal experiences.
The Situation
The client was the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) - responsible for making sure children and young people can grow up in a happy/safe environment. Social workers make sure this happens for everybody in the UK. How do you make people want a career in social work when the national media are attacking the sector on a daily basis in the wake of various child protection cases, most notably the tragic story of Baby P. We wanted to present the public with the other side of the story, demonstrating the valuable role social workers play.
The Strategy
This communication campaign didn’t lead with national television advertising; we decided to end with it, preferring to first develop an online, grass roots groundswell that would side-step the media agenda and let the public decide for themselves.By creating strong visual content we demonstrated the difficult circumstances that social workers encounter by creating creative short films (based on real case studies) with actors playing individuals in vulnerable situations. We distributed this content online and used social media networking throughout to maintain a conversation and expand the reach. In terms of the media channels we had to consider how we could make maximum impact within a short period of time as the campaign was to last just ten days. TV programmes, print and radio were carefully selected to give us the right environment to generate debate as well as significant media coverage to reach a wide audience.