Why a cause-driven campaign will always be PR gold      

Always #LikeAGirl campaign

When some of the world’s top PR professionals were asked to vote for their favourite campaign of the past 12 months, there was one strong theme connecting the top contenders.

Always #LikeaGirl, Sport England’s This Girl Can, National Blood Week’s missing Type, and Dove’s Real Beauty campaign all had strong, cause-driven messages.

Female empowerment was a key theme, with Always, Sport England and Dove promoting and encouraging self-esteem among women.

Meanwhile National Blood Week’s primary motivator was to encourage blood donation, by removing the letters A, O, and B from street signs in London, and the front page of the Daily Mirror.

But beyond the clever PR stunts and gimmicks, it is the cause that really gives the top campaigns their PR credentials.

Female empowerment is a hot topic, with makeup-free campaigns appearing all over social media, and body shaming, photo-shopping and filters dividing opinion.  So a campaign that taps into this debate will always strike a chord.  The Always, Sport England and Dove campaigns are also noticeably lacking in celebrity, instead opting for real, relatable women to front their campaigns.

As for the NHS’ Missing Letters campaign, the cause of encouraging blood donation is a different kind of powerful, as it highlights an important issue with a clever PR stunt, rather than just telling people to donate.  The simplicity campaign made the letters instantly memorable, gaining huge amounts of press and TV coverage and trending on twitter.

So what does this mean for smaller organisations and businesses that don’t have bottomless budgets or a national cause to get behind? Well the answer is simple, find the cause in your business. Every organisation strives to do something that is of benefit to someone, whether you’re an accountancy championing small businesses, a specialist reducing stress in the workplace or a restaurant encouraging healthy decisions.

If you can find the root cause of your work, and gear your messaging towards this, you will have a stronger campaign that resonates with the public.

If you’d like to find out how to uncover a story in your business that journalists will love to cover, download our free storyfinding toolkit here.

Halima Khatun

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