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BHF - How we ended up in the delivery room with a case study and a camera

  1. How we ended up in the delivery room with a case study and a camera Charlotte Rastan and Emma Dowse, British Heart Foundation Thursday 13 June 2019
  2. 2 Stats to stories We founded the Heart Story Team six years ago, when stats were doing probably too much of the ‘heavy lifting’ at the BHF. We set ourselves a remit to change that and to tell the BHF story as a human story. The whole process of discovering people’s stories and just how emotive they are gave us the motivation to do as much as we can with them.
  3. 3 Fresh thinking: telling stories in the moment BHF traditionally told stories after the event. Emma returned from a sabbatical with the idea of changing that and showing what people were actually going through. It really leverages the emotional power of the story. If you don’t know how a story is going to end, it adds a whole new dimension to how you receive it. Sapa, Vietnam, which Emma visited as part of her sabbatical
  4. 4 We began with Calum’s story. Calum had just turned 11 and was about to have his fourth major open heart surgery. We’d worked very closely for years with the family, who had experienced the rollercoaster of life with a child born with a severe heart condition. He wanted people to know what it was like, and the whole family backed him. We discussed documenting his upcoming operation.
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  7. 7 Nine films: from pre-op to recovery We took a new approach, putting the filming in the family’s hands, so they could film important moments on their iPads. We released the films ‘as it happened’, in instalments so people saw events as they were unfolding. This is the film that documents the day of Calum’s operation. They went out to a warm audience on our organic social channels to test this new approach. The community was really behind us, and the family, and lived every moment. While these films were raising awareness of the reality of heart disease they also aimed to land the message that we are funding vital research like Prof Massimo Caputo’s that will one day change the story for children like Calum and end the heartbreak of repeated surgeries.
  8. 8 Calum’s operation film – stats the day after it was released on Facebook 2,163 Reactions 422 Comments 404 Shares • Average watch time of 13 seconds (and our benchmark is about 4 secs) • 93,926 video views (31,404 of those being 10 seconds or more) • 18% of people turned the sound on (usually this would be around 5%. We had subs within FB on this, so the fact people still listened with sounds was a great sign)
  9. 9 Baby Ivy This project started a new storytelling approach for us. Our next project followed Holly and Mark, whose unborn baby had been diagnosed with a life threatening condition. She would need surgery within days of being born. We planned to follow their journey from pregnancy through to Ivy’s life saving operation.
  10. 10 When Ivy was born she was really poorly and at that point we expected the family to pull out of the project. But with great bravery, they continued to send us films of their baby on a ventilator and their own, raw feelings as she was about to go into surgery to save her life.
  11. 11 We had an extra layer this time as we had successfully pitched to the One Show. A show with a 5 million audience that the BHF had not appeared on before. They would create a couple of films for the ‘medical miracles’ segment.
  12. 12 Stats that made us react We had a digital budget this time that enabled us to go out wider and reach new, cold audiences (with no connection to the BHF) . We segmented the audiences to dads, mums and grandparents. The advantage of digital tools that you can see very quickly how people are reacting. The storytelling approach was working for warm audiences, but not for cold. Our analysis was that cold audiences weren’t interested in Ivy, but were interested in a baby in jeopardy and wanted to understand how they could help. So for cold audiences we decided to create two ad-style films.
  13. 13 Results •Our total reach was 2.2 million people (unique viewers), and 8 million impressions •A positive short film about how baby Ivy’s life was saved was our best performer with cold audiences •Compared to our BHF benchmarks for view rates and click through rates, the film quadrupled those
  14. 14 Impact Both projects had internal and external impact, and demonstrated that ‘real time’ footage has huge value: • Ivy’s story appeared on The One Show, and the family were interviewed on the sofa • The footage of Ivy was used in a fundraising advert for national TV • Calum’s footage has been turned into three support films for families with a child about to have an operation
  15. 15 Our take aways • We took risks, but our organisation backed us • The families let us in, rather than us barging in • Strength of relationships is key • We demonstrated that this type of storytelling does get cut through • The films had internal and external impact