'Finding the right media'

When domestic violence charity Refuge teamed up with two major players in the media and retail sectors, the results exceeded all expectations. ‘After a campaign, we normally get an uplift in helpline calls of between 25 and 30 per cent,’ explains director of communications, Lisa King. ‘This time it was 49 per cent.’

The phenomenal success of Refuge’s campaign highlighting domestic violence towards women and children was down to a precisely co-ordinated media, retail and advertising campaign. In September 2003, Refuge launched an extensive run of TV, radio and cinema advertisements, dubbed Don’t Ignore Domestic Violence. These revealed the disturbing fact that one in four women experience domestic violence at some point in their life, and offered a lifeline to those affected.

This message was simultaneously brought to the public’s attention through a fundraising and marketing partnership with The Body Shop and The Sun, the UK’s biggest selling newspaper. It gave 17 pages of coverage, including a front-page story, to domestic violence, while The Body Shop offered discreet, handbag-sized Refuge leaflets in their 300 stores. The result was an equivalent estimated advertising value of £1 million.

The judges thought the project was fascinating and innovative. ‘We reached people in very different ways,’ says King. ‘The phenomenal amount of PR had very positive spin-offs, and meant we hit every opportunity to raise awareness.’

Sandra Horley
Chief executive
2-8 Maltravers Street
020 7395 7744
Reg no.277424


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