The Perfect Job: The 10 Day PR Campaign

Thursday, 4 February 2016, 14:48 | Category : General
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PRN Senior Associate Kate Hinton tells us how she used her PR skills this weekend to promote a cause true to Londoners’ hearts

“The perfect job – all your meetings are in the pub and your teammates are your local friends and neighbours, you are given a project to work on with great subject matter that the media absolutely loves, celebrities are falling over themselves to get involved, and you are delivering results fast!

What is there not to love? The only catch is that you don’t get paid a penny for it! However, volunteering for a local campaign can be a great way of getting your campaign / PR / Public Affairs “mojo” back.

I recently got involved with a local campaign, volunteering some of my time. A petition organised by a friend to save the independent shops in my area caught my eye. The story behind the petition had all the magic ingredients. My family’s favourite toy shop, Just Williams, was closing due to a 70% rent hike by a local charity, Dulwich Estates, that owns a large number of local properties, with further rent hikes also on the horizon. My kids were furious.

A small group of us quickly utilised all our social networks and started spreading the word via our local community group, twitter and Facebook pages. Within a few days we had already persuaded over 1,000 people to sign the petition. Word was spreading fast and within 10 days we organised a local march. By this time, the petition was at 2,000, I had involved Helen Hayes MP and the local media were also spreading the word. The Evening Standard grabbed the story, and we had both ITV London News and BBC London News interested in covering the campaign.

The results were phenomenal – we had hundreds of people attend the march, Evening Standard covered the story three times, we were the lead item on ITV London News, and we had local celebs Jay Rayner, and James Nesbitt join the march. Since the march we’ve had further local news coverage including South London Press, Brixton Bugle, Southwark News, the social media reach is around 1.5 million and the petition signatures have reached 5,000. A David and Goliath tale like this really gets Londoners’ blood boiling.

We may not as yet have saved our shops, but a huge amount was achieved just in 10 days. It meant working evenings, sometimes in the pub (!) and on top of the PR day job I do for The PR Network and my private clients. However the satisfaction gained from achieving such great results for such a good cause made it so worth it. Running local campaigns that mean something to you at a personal level is a great way of falling in love again with campaigning. I highly recommend all associates pick a cause they love and support it in 2016.”

Kate Hinton is a senior associate of The PR Network, working with key clients such as Zipcar, for whom she’s helping establish car clubs as a key part of London’s transport system. @kateahinton

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