For the fourth year, Baptist World Aid released its industry-leading research report, revealing the fashion brands succeeding and failing at mitigating the risk of worker exploitation in their global supply chains. With 106 apparel companies (or 330 brands) receiving a grade from A to F, this year’s Ethical Fashion Report was bigger than ever. While highly anticipated among industry players as a benchmarking tool, and among consumers as an ethical shopping guide, there was uncertainty surrounding potential media fatigue.
Keep Left’s community engagement PR team took to the challenge. While the launch date has always coincided with the anniversary of the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, the team decided this year’s report needed to transcend the conversation beyond the accident. Ultimately, the report’s reputation provided an opportunity to demonstrate the impact of putting pressure on fashion brands to be transparent, while at the same time increasing consumer awareness that an issue exists.
Armed with fresh angles, a strong visual package and 3rd party spokespeople at the ready, the team seeded story angles to key outlets and secured prominent media interest well prior to the report release day. A vital part of this process was Baptist World Aid spokesperson, Gershon Nimbalker, who has extensive media experience and was able to participate in interviews ahead of the report release.
Cue launch day. Having coordinated print and online coverage already, and broadcast interviews from 6am, Gershon used the day’s spotlight to highlight some of the most prominent findings from the 2017 report and explain what consumers can do to vote with their wallets. Coverage was achieved across print, radio, television and online media outlets including:
The explosive launch day and subsequent coverage saw over 50 million people reached with news of the Ethical Fashion report. Of the 247 pieces of coverage, four in every five included an interview or quotes from Gershon and 73% directed its audience to the Baptist World Aid “Behind the Barcode” website. In seven days following launch, more than 42,000 people went online to see the report and after four weeks the website traffic was still 35% higher than average.