The Challenge

  • To raise awareness of planning application for a memorial to honour the 55,573 men of Bomber Command who lost their lives in WWII, and to start raising money if planning permission was granted.

The Solution

  • Ahead of the planning permission meeting at Westminster City Council, we had to be sensitive to the nature of the application and not to be seen as lobbying. Our strategy was to place a few sympathetic articles in the run up to the meeting

  • When planning permission was granted on May 13th, we then did a major push to all national outlets, raising awareness of the memorial. The story of the Bomber Command volunteers that came from all over the world is relatively untold, so there was an education job to be done before efforts could turn to asking for donations

  • It is an emotive story, so we used quotes from Winston Churchill, the Bee Gee’s Robin Gibb (who was our official celebrity for the memorial), the Marshal of the RAF and the Prime Minister to give the story extra weight.

The Result

  • In terms of coverage secured ahead of the planning permission meeting, we placed a piece in The Times that focused on the less-known humanitarian missions undertaken by the Bomber Command crews – Operation Manna. The Daily Telegraph, which is also behind the campaign, ran two pieces. As Robin Gibb was the face of the campaign, we secured a place for him on GMTV on the morning of the day that we would find out the result, which included a short film made at the RAF Museum with Robin and veteran Tony Iveson. We also placed a piece in the Evening Standard that used the upcoming election, and the political dominance over the news as a hook

  • When planning permission was granted, we achieved a huge range of coverage in the space of just 48hrs – more than 119 pieces appeared including national newspapers, television, radio and regional press. The circulation (how many people were exposed to the coverage) is an incredible figure - 372,532,421 in total

  • Coverage highlights included BBC Breakfast, Classic FM, BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, The Times, Daily Mail, Sky, Daily Express and many more

  • There was a big spike in donations immediately following all the coverage.