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Hedgehog Hall of Fame: Approach PR - The Gift of a Lift

29th August 2013


Company: Approach PR Campaign: Acorn Stairlifts - The Gift of a Lift Category: Healthcare / Pharma Campaign of the Year - North - WINNER Objectives Cancer patient, Jayne Edwards’ dying wish was to reach the second floor of her own home with dignity. The family had been quoted a five-week delivery date by a competitor stairlift manufacturer – longer than Jayne was expected to live. Acorn Stairlifts heard of Jayne’s plight through the local press and responded immediately, taking just 24 hours from survey to installation delighting the family who had lost all hope of seeing Jayne’s last wish realised. The stairlift was installed and the brief of communicating the success story to potential customers, health care professionals and the wider public through regional, national and trade press was presented to Approach PR. • Raise awareness of Acorn Stairlifts’ FastTrack 24-hour survey-to-installation service • Educate healthcare professionals around the wider options available for mobility threatened patients • Communicate the human and customer care side of Acorn Stairlifts which had at times, suffered a reputation of hard sales techniques in a competitive market • Build relationships with key influencers in the charitable community • Secure column inches in the press read by decision makers • Dispel the myth that stairlifts are only for “older people” Strategy & Target Audience  Challenges • While Acorn’s service had been exemplary and supported a family in need, we were cautious not to exploit the Edwards’ experiences • Devastatingly, Jayne passed away soon after Acorn’s installation – she hadn’t lived long enough to see or use the stairlift • If handled sensitively, a powerful story could still be told which would prevent other families losing precious time waiting for lengthy manufacturing processes incurred by other stairlift suppliers • The commercial angle had to be maintained to bring value to the client, despite the fragility of the situation • Acorn was focussed on securing national press coverage to communicate its FastTrack service Strategy and tactics Developing a trusting relationship with the family was key to moving the media campaign forward. Approach became the direct contact with Jayne Edwards’ husband Neil and through a series of conversations, established he wanted the stairlift donating to another cancer patient, in Jayne’s memory. We: • Communicated this back to Acorn and recommended the Sue Ryder Manorlands hospice in the company’s neighbouring town to strengthen local relationships and build a solid regional media story • Co-ordinated photography of Neil and Acorn with the stairlift to announce plans to rehouse it free of charge • Liaised with Sue Ryder’s marketing and community teams around our media proposal and to engage their support • Interviewed Clinical Nurse Specialist Valerie Bone for comment on the role of hcps advising patients on home care adaptations • Prepared: - Gloucester regional release announcing Neil’s wish -  Yorkshire regional release announcing Acorn’s partnership with Manorlands - HCP and charity releases focusing on the Sue Ryder hcp comments and re advising patients of FastTrack mobility options The story took an unexpected twist when Sue Ryder found a new location for Jayne’s stairlift in the home of cervical cancer patient Lucy Moore. At 33, Lucy had been given 12 months to live. The toll of chemotherapy and her deteriorating health meant she was unable to climb the stairs to her front door or reach her first floor bathroom. Results Outcomes • Jayne’s story reached an audience of 1,782,548 through Gloucester and Yorkshire news and features and targeted national titles, Mature Times and Help My Mobility • Articles featuring Acorn’s and Valerie’s quotes appeared in key trade press including Assistive Technologies and Independent Living • Lucy’s story appeared in 100 per cent of targeted press including a half page feature in the Daily Express, full page feature in the Yorkshire Post, half page feature in the Telegraph & Argus alongside news stories in the Keighley News and Craven Herald • Sue Ryder ran Lucy’s story through its intranet and internal newsletter Ryder News • We reacted to the Equality and Human Rights Commission report on council run care and submitted Acorn and Valerie’s comments on care at home which appeared in regional media • Quotes from Acorn Stairlifts appeared in 75 per cent of coverage achieved • Relationships were developed with the Daily Express to such an extent that Acorn was approached to offer further comment on home care • Lucy was interviewed by Ross Parry news agency planning to sell her story to women’s consumer titles • 3,919,776 overall audience reach • EVA £73,796 • ROI: £34 for every £1 spent Beyond the press • Lucy felt the campaign served a double purpose – to educate people about the importance of quick stairlift installation and to raise awareness of cervical cancer early diagnosis • Leads received through Acorn’s website on the day of our Daily Express feature were 17.5 per cent higher than the previous day • The number of telephone leads during the week of the Daily Express feature were 50 per cent higher than the previous week and 300 per cent higher than the following week • Leads received through Yellow Pages were 10% higher during the week of the Daily Express feature and 10 per cent higher than the following week • “A further lead was generated through the customer seeing the newspaper article of the lift donated to Lucy Moore. The customer really liked this and was happy to deal with a company like ours and thought it refreshing to see a company being so charitable.” Acorn Stairlift sales representative Client outcome • Approach was appointed to act on four further projects for Acorn Stairlifts including Acorn Antiques the Musical, Acorn Stairlifts debut on The Syndicate and Acorn Stairlifts’ donations to a Ukranian Orphanage • Acorn Stairlifts was so inspired and motivated by Lucy’s story that 65 staff raised £15k for Sue Ryder after entering its 10k run “Thank you for the great coverage you secured around Lucy. I saw other articles including the Keighley News and a number of other newspapers. This is so helpful for the hospice in order to build its profile and reputation locally, so people have a better understanding of the reasons why we need to fundraise.” Sara Novara, PR Manager Sue Ryder This award entry is submitted with the permission of Roger Moore, in memory of his daughter Lucy Moore who died just two weeks after getting married, aged 33 in April 2012. The PRmoment Golden Hedgehog Awards 2014 are now open for entries. Here are this years updated categories.

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