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Don't cover it up - Refuge. Great comms campaigns I wish I'd done seminar, 18 June 2014

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Emma Guise, head of media, Macmillan Cancer Support …

Emma Guise, head of media, Macmillan Cancer Support

Visit the CharityComms website to view slides from our past events, see what events we have coming up and to check out what else we do.

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  • My name is Emma Guise and the comms campaign I wish I’d done Refuge’s Don’t Cover It Up campaign.
  • Important to start with a truly shocking fact – see above.
    And of these, barely more than a third of late teens would know where to go for help is they experienced that type of violence.
    Other shocking facts - young boys attitude to DV with 75% of boys thinking its acceptable.
    There was a real risk this group would grow up thinking DV was acceptable and this needs challenging urgently.
  • But how do you effectively communicate with this group? They have lowest consumption of traditional/mainstream media like TV and have the highest consumption of online and social media. Their social networks are hugely influential – they trust their friends.
    Refuge focused on a vehicle, youtube, that was an existing part of a teen girl’s media environment, as well as being accessible to a wider group so would create wider conversation and debate. And the chose a spokesperson who was directly engaged with over 455,000 people, the majority of which are 13-24 and female.
    So on the 2nd July 2012, Lauren Luke, the high profile social media make-up artist, posted her latest tutorial, a clip called ‘how to look your best the morning after.’
  • And the media coverage was incredible. Blanket coverage in the UK, particularly ‘holy grail’ consumer women's publications like Grazie, Stylist and Mail Online. Refuge had a call to action for people sign a petition for more life saving services across the country – partnered with Red magazine on this, so good audience to help mobalise pressure on Gov to provide these services.
    Also went global, with coverage in 22 countries - message became a rallying cry around the world.
    Film had 1.5 million hits, tens of thousands of people commented and shared it.
    Refuge saw a massive spike in tweets and saw a shift in people tweeting them from 35+ men/women to 13-35 year old women
    Media coverage reached 73 million people.
    Even impacted on donations despite the fact this wasn’t the main aim of the campaign.
  • More importantly are the conversations it started – just one example of a comment under the video.
  • And – most importantly - these conversations convinced 6,000 people affected by domestic violence to take a step to help themselves by contacting Refuge services including their Get Help pages on the website and their helpline.
    Why do I wish I’d done it?
    Truly targeted, insight driven and creative.
    Relevance to Macmillan
    Focus on audience and clear use of channel to reach the audience. New Mac products like Go Sober and Night In mean that we need to get much better at understanding and talking to these audiences where they are.
    Brave and bold – Thought provoking, challenging/controversial. Not natural Mac territory, impact on brand. But so important if we want to get cut through and reach new audiences.
    Overall a master class in effective, impactful communications.


  • 1. Emma Guise, Head of Media at Macmillan Cancer Support
  • 2. Visit the CharityComms website to view slides from our past events, see what events we have coming up and to check out what else we do.  www.charitycomms.org.uk #commscampaigns