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Public Health England Launches Challenge programme with Pimp My Cause

Public Health England marketing Challenge with Pimp My Cause

Public Health England marketers have supported the work of three great causes through a new partnership with the AoF's spin-off initiative Pimp My Cause.

The Public Health England national marketing team wanted to combine supporting good causes with meeting their ambitious learning and development goals.

It was fortuitous timing as Pimp My Cause had recently begun offering innovation and talent development programmes to corporate collaborators in the form of custom built Challenges.

Pimp My Cause Challenges engage a marketing team’s skills in support of good causes in a way that achieves the team’s talent development goals, supports the company’s social purpose agenda and boosts the marketing capabilities of the causes all at the same time. A powerful win-win-win that benefits the team, the cause and society.

To maximise the positive outcome for the causes and to make the experience as relevant as possible to Public Health England’s marketing team the causes were selected from the Pimp My Cause membership, with a focus on charities and social enterprises that relate to medical and health issues.

The PHE national marketing team is made up of a campaign activation team, a planning team and a partnerships team. Members of these three teams were mixed up to make six new groups ready to take on the marketing Challenges presented by their chosen causes.

Three causes were chosen by PHE and the groups of their marketers developed communications and engagement campaign ideas to help them reach their goals.

Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice, a 20-year-old charity asked for help with ideas for how to engage more local people with life-limited illnesses and their families in using their services and how to attract more volunteer support. Upbeat, a music and mental health charity with Coldplay at patrons, asked for help with engaging more supporters. And SportInspired, a social enterprise that helps children across the UK find a sport they love, asked for campaign ideas for how to keep more of their participants engaged with their organisation for longer.

In a short amount of time the PHE marketing groups were able to develop straight forward practical, high impact plans for the causes to follow. For example one of the teams made a significant contribution to Upbeat’s overall marketing and communications by suggesting a change in language from trying to attract “supporters” to “fans”. This apparently simple change taps into what is unique about Upbeat, which is their use of music to support recovery from mental health issues and their celebrity contacts. And by developing their brand using the language of music, the PHE group argued they would have more success connecting with people who were naturally enthusiastic about their cause.

The proposition the group put forward for their campaign was to “Join the world’s biggest band to jam in Camden and improve mental health through music.” They developed this proposition further into plans for a “Big Busk” to raise money for Upbeat.

One group developed a plan for how SportInspired could build its grassroots movement by engaging parents, a group they had previously not connected with. Their message for parents was “SportInpired makes it easy to keep your children happy and active.” And the group developed plans for a family kit to involve parents in expanding the impact of SportInspired Games and with the added benefit of keeping participants engaged with their programmes for longer.

A member of the PHE partnerships team also recognised ways for SportInspired to potentially work with them on Change4Life, the well-known social marketing campaign to stop obesity, and they will be following up on that possibility.

Another group developed a campaign idea for Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice, which would encourage potential volunteers to donate their “extra” hour in March 2015 when the clocks go forward. The campaign headline would be “What can you do in an hour?”. And once a volunteer has contributed an hour of their time, the group argued it would be much easier to get them involved in longer term volunteering projects for the hospice.

Feedback from the Challenge was very positive. All the participants felt they gained a lot from working with their cause partners. They said it was a unique opportunity for them to use their marketing skills in a challenging new way that led to real world benefits for people in need.

Anna Springbett, co-director of SportInspired said about their involvement in the programme, “We’ve come a long way with our marketing and that is thanks to you.”

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