Do Good, hosted by UKTJPR in partnership with Bright One

Last night I attended this months UKTJPR event which was hosted in partnership with Bright One the volunteer-run communications agency for the third sector.

The event was called “Do good” and it looked at how technology PR and in-house PRs can work effectively with charities that make up the third sector.

As a regular attendee of the UKTJPR events (I usually attended to meet technology journalists and catch up with my tech PR friends) I honestly walked away feeling inspired.

Last night UKTJPR’s “Do good” event was a different from the usual meet ups as it looked into how technology PR and in-house PR (or anyone working in the communications industry) could work effectively with charities that make up the third sector.

During the night Ben Matthews (founder of  Bright One), Susie Richardson (Media and PR manager Macmillan Cancer Support), Sam Philips (from 33 Digital), and Chris Reed (managing partner of Brew Digital) gave some amazing quotes and some great examples of how charities and brand have effectively worked together.

***Please note that I tried to write down as many as I could in this blog post  but there were too many to choose from so  I’ve selected my personal favourite few***

My favourite quote of the night was by Chris Reed who said “Pro-bono is hard to get right…”.

Talking about this quote he goes on to explain that a brand working with a charity is more than just writing a cheque, it’s about donating skills and ideas which work well on both sides. When a brand works with a charity, offering their skills and ideas  it’s a prime example of doing the right thing.

A good example of this was made by Susie Richardson who talked about how Macmillan had teamed up with high street brands Boots and TONI & GUY in 2010.

Many people or families and friends of those who have suffered from cancer would find going into a hospital or a doctor’s surgery to talk about their worries and questions scary and intimidating. By teaming up with a familiar high street chemist Boots, it helped to make it easier and more approachable for people to pop in and ask any questions or read up on some information on the leaflets in store.

When they teamed up with TONI & GUY they created the “Strength in Style” service in which they trained at least one member of staff in each of the TONI & GUY stores to be able to offer advice and styling tips to people who had been affected by cancer. This service worked well as it gave people who had suffered from cancer a chance to feel refreshed and to learn how to style and work with what they’ve got.

Ben, Sam, Susie and Chris went on to talk about how in order for a brand to work well with a charity they need to have complete transparency on both sides and a common ground (such as they same or similar audience) as this will make working with each other much more effective.

A great example of this is was when Oxfam teamed up with Marks and Spencer in 2010. When someone donated an old and unwanted Marks and Spencer item to a Oxfam charity store a Marks and Spencer voucher was given in exchange. This resulted in lots of clothes being donated to Oxfam, happy Marks and Spencer customers with a new wardrobe and increased footfall for both Oxfam and Marks and Spencer stores. Overall it’s a very transparent and clear campaign.

Another great example is The Big Mix* event by Macmillan Cancer support which is an up and coming music and comedy festival. Macmillan’s target this year was to reach out and to appeal to a younger audience, so by creating this cool and fun festival it’s helping to attract their target audience, and gain mentions in the younger media mix such as Vice, Time Out, and Xfm.

By the end of the night I walked away feeling very inspired by the examples and quotes given by Ben, Susie, Sam and Chris. Which is why I wrote this blog post as my way of saying thank you for inspiring me. : )

*The Big Mix is taking place on Saturday 18th June across various venues in Shoreditch to get tickets or more information please visit www.theBigMix.co.uk

*The text in the image above says “Inspired through a creative journey”

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