Charity PR success for story of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation

by Alicia Simpson

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Appeal for families to take part in charity event sees huge jump in participants, with help from PR agency

skff great strides coverage by an Edinburgh PR AgencyTEAMS of families donned their walking boots and took part in a seven mile walk around Edinburgh and raised £13,000 to support children in hospital – all with a little help from our Scottish PR agency.

The sponsored walk, titled Great Strides, was the first of its kind organised by our charity client, the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, which supports the work of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (RHSC) in the Capital.

Thanks to a call out from Holyrood PR on behalf of SKFF, and a cleverly executed, staggered regional roll out of media activity, the charity saw the number of walkers taking part increase from an original three, to a final total of 80, as participants of all ages came together to help raise the important funds.

So how did our PR experts go about attracting participants and encouraging them to sign up? As it was the first year the sponsored walk was taking place, our client was understandably keen to gauge as much media attention as possible to raise awareness, which was exactly what we enabled them to do.

As an agency with a ‘multiple bites of the cherry’ mentality, we recognised the potential for not one, but four separate releases to sufficiently push the Great Strides activity. Firstly, we did a general announcement release to highlight the event and give the important details, which was then followed by a regionalised ‘call to action’ release, appealing for families to sign up.


Thirdly, we issued a case study-style release, detailing that Katie Ford – Olympic torchbearer, epilepsy blogger and the first Scot and youngest British female to complete the 3000 mile race across America – would be taking part, and was calling out for others to also get involved, and finally, we followed all of this up with a post-event press release, detailing the success of the walk and how much it had fundraised.

As with the promotion of any event, the most important element of this activity was part two – the call to action release, which we rolled out using a carefully thought out, targeted strategy:

  1. National and Local Media – As the Royal Hospital for Sick Children is an Edinburgh institution, and its supporting charity is based in the Capital, the Scotsman, the Edinburgh Evening News and the Edinburgh Reporter are key publications for our client.

 And our first move early on in the week was to directly target these publications, which then picked up the story and ran it across the next couple of days, promoting the fundraiser to the all-important Edinburgh audience, and potentially even further afield, as the Edinburgh Evening News and The Scotsman reach a combined potential a readership of over 40,000.

  1. Regional Media – Having secured coverage across key titles, we then rolled the story out regionally, making sure to account for the copy deadlines of the regional titles, as many of them only publish weekly.

This was equally important to encourage supporters from all across Scotland to get involved and to raise awareness of SKFF throughout the country. The appeal was picked up by an array of influential regional publications, including the Stirling News, the Gazette, the West Lothian Courier and Paisley People, which we believe played a big part in signups jumping from just three to 80.

  1. Trade Media – Vitally, the industry charity and parenting press were also quick to pick up on the story, and ran pieces in Third Force News and MADE Magazine, therefore spreading the news of the positive and exciting activity throughout the Sick Kids Friends Foundation’s target industry and, once again, ultimately growing its reputation among key influencers.

In total, our work to promote Great Strides reached a possible audience of nearly 450,000 and, as a result of our step-by-step, rollout approach, featured in publications all across Scotland, resulting in a huge growth in the number of families who got involved and, finally and most essentially, securing a fundraised total of £13,000 for children in hospital.

This is just one of an extensive number of stories run by Holyrood PR on behalf of the Sick Kids Friends Foundation. Our Edinburgh PR agency’s award-winning style ensures that every piece of news reaches its fullest potential.


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Private: Alicia Simpson

The profile and biography of public relations professional Alicia Simpson, a junior account executive with award-winning Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh.

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