International children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate.
Smile Train is an incredible charity which helps treat children across the developing world who are born with cleft lip and palate, by providing 100% free repair surgery.
We work with Smile Train to help them raise their profile within the UK national and regional media – building awareness of the organisation, and helping the UK public to resonate with the cause which effects those across the developing world. Our work also involves highlighting Smile Train’s unique ‘teach a man to fish’ model and promoting all the fantastic work which their fundraisers carry out all across the UK, week in week out, to transform lives forever.
The core objectives for this campaign are:
- Raise awareness of Smile Train amongst the UK population to increase donations
- To educate UK consumers on the topic of cleft lip and palate – emphasising differences in the treatment those with cleft receive in the UK, opposed to across the developing world.
- Highlight the fantastic work Smile Train fundraisers carry out on a daily/weekly basis through regional case study placement.
- Position Smile Train as an authority within the charity sector, focussing on the topic of cleft lip and palate.
- Launch and develop Smile Train’s social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Google+
Originality and Creativity
Originality and creativity have been central to our PR campaign for Smile Train, in order to bring the topic of cleft lip and palate to a mass audience, and help the UK public resonate with an issue which is not domestic, but instead effects those across the third world.
Smile Train now regularly feature across the UK national, consumer, and regional press – and across sections of the media which they would perhaps not naturally be deemed to sit within.
By taking a fully integrated approach, we have widened the conversation around the topic of cleft lip and palate, bringing Smile Train to the forefront of the news agenda and introducing a whole new audience of potential donors and fundraisers to the organisation.
Education and awareness have also formed a major strand of our activity, as in the UK cleft is often dismissed as a cosmetic issue, which is not the case across much of the rest of the globe.
Across social media, we created engaging strands of content that appealed personally to our audience, from sharing case studies to smile quotes and Smile Train milestones. We also centred our social media strategy around celebrating key figures from the charity and the excellent work they’ve achieved around the world, coupled with patients around the world who have benefited from Smile Train.
Strategy and Implementation
In order to achieve sustained coverage for Smile Train our PR activity has focussed on a range of creative and innovative integrated campaign elements including the following:
Consumer survey releases
Creating the news agenda has been a big part of our activity, and has been an effective way to build mass awareness of the organisation and seed key messages across the mass media. Smile Train is a children’s charity with a vibrant brand personality. As such, this has enabled us to be creative with consumer focussed survey stories centred on topics such as: the ultimate smiling index, Britain’s fondest childhood memories, and the things we Brits love and hate most about summertime.
Another great way to share Smile Train’s key messages and help a UK audience resonate with the cause is through the creation and placement of innovative feature angles. This activity has proved very successful in positioning Smile Train as a credible authority within both the charity sector and on the topic of cleft lip and palate. Topics we have focussed on have included – common myths and facts surrounding cleft, the unique business models which are reigning supreme across their individual sectors, and common birth defects which unite the world.
Social media engagement
As a fully integrated campaign, a key strand of our activity for Smile Train has been launching and managing the UK specific social media channels. The brief has involved growing both Facebook and Twitter, specifically for a mass UK audience, by creating engaging and creative weekly content plans, filled with uplifting stories of ‘smile makers’ around the globe and info about the children who have directly benefitted from Smile Train’s help.
Another way in which we build brand awareness for Smile Train is by proactively sourcing thought leadership opportunities for Smile Train’s CEO, Susannah Schaeffer, and the leading doctors who work at Smile Train projects all across the globe.
Results and Evaluation
We have increased coverage of Smile Train across the UK national, consumer, and regional media raising awareness of the amazing work Smile Train carries out worldwide.
Powerful and emotive human interest stories are at the heart of Smile Train. By hooking onto key awareness days, creating and shaping the news agenda around the topic of cleft, and taking a creative approach to producing feature and survey based content we have helped to bring just some of these stories to life and have generated over 80 pieces of coverage across a range of key titles including: Mail Online, You magazine, Prima Baby and Pregnancy, Metro, The Sun, The Daily Mirror, The Daily Star, Female First and B-Baby to name but a few.