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:
Fairfax: The Age, SMH and online syndications
Newscorp: Herald Sun and online syndications
ABC: News Breakfast, online news and radio
SBS News: TV and online
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.
International Guide Dog Day & Guide Dogs Victoria’s 60th birthday.
To mark International Guide Dog Day (IGDD) and their 60th birthday, Guide Dogs Victoria (GDV) came to our social change PR team with news of a collaboration with Public Transport Victoria. A tram wrapped in pictures of puppies would be travelling the CBD. Knowing a media opportunity when we see one, our team jumped at the chance to extend the gravity and reach of the day with a dual-strategy campaign and activation.
Building on the collaboration, the team organised ambassador dogs and sweet treats to join commuters on the tram for the organisation’s 60th birthday, news that lifestyle and consumer media would love to share.
But we also wanted to draw the audience in beyond puppies and highlight the profound value of Guide Dogs. This IGDD we worked with GDV to show the data behind this value and release GDV & Swinburne Uni’s preliminary findings into how Guide Dogs offer much more than mobility.
More than Mobility
The research revealed that Guide Dogs act as social facilitators, help to manage mental and physical health issues, and encourage the handlers to try new challenges, develop new skills and think differently about themselves.
Alongside our PR work, we filmed a case study to give life to the research findings. The 40 second video represents years of companionship and guidance, a snippet of the relationship Peter and his Guide Dog Barry share.
Celebrating with Guide Dogs Victoria
With a set date for the 60th birthday and IGDD, our social change PR team created a newsworthy package to generate broad media interest. This included GIFS, photos and interview opportunities with GDV’s CEO Karen Hayes and CEO of Public Transport Victoria, Jeroen Weimar, a long-standing supporter of Guide Dog accessibility.
Unsurprisingly, news of dogs on a tram gained huge traction online. After being published on Broadsheet, fans came hunting for the tram in the city where they could cuddle GDV ambassador dogs and take home a celebratory cookie to promote the organisation taking the lead for 60 years.
The two strategies gained broad media coverage nationally, with an approximate audience of 5.7 million people. Among the 120 articles covering GDV and IGDD, the story was featured on ABC News Breakfast, 3AW, ABC Breakfast Radio, Channel 9 News, Channel 10 News, Herald Sun and The Urban List.
A 90th birthday voyage for iconic Australian butter brand.
Western Star is celebrating 90 years of butter making this year. To commemorate, Keep Left’s consumer PR team worked with Australia’s favourite butter to ‘butter up’ its home state of Victoria and New South Wales with a 90th Birthday Voyage.
A giant truck in the form of an iconic butter block on wheels departed its hometown of Cobden on its maiden voyage to Sydney, where Western Star gave away more than 90,000 samples of hot cross buns and Spreadable butter at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. Along the way, the big birthday truck spread plenty of ‘simple happiness’ by handing out Western Star Spreadable and hot cross buns at stops throughout the Western District of Victoria.
After leaving Cobden, where Western Star has been produced since 1926, the truck stopped in Warrnambool, Portland, Hamilton, Maryborough and Bendigo before arriving in Sydney just in time for Easter.
“For the past 90 years and to this day, Western Star butter has been expertly crafted in Cobden from just two natural ingredients—cream and salt”, said Cobden Plant Manager, Bruce Manson.
“We couldn’t do this without the Cobden community or our 250 farmers throughout the southwest region of Victoria, so it’s only fitting that our Birthday Voyage celebrates where it all began and those who helped us reach this milestone”.
Corangamite Shire Mayor and Cobden resident, Jo Beard, whose great grandfather was involved in the Western Star butter factory 90 years ago looks forward to welcoming the truck: “Western Star has made countless contributions to the Cobden community and regional Victoria over the past 90 years, from investing millions, supporting community initiatives and not to mention creating jobs. Western Star is truly engrained here”.
There’s no denying that Western Star is Australia’s favourite butter—it was first confirmed in 2006. Western Star Original Butter also was named the Grand Champion Butter at the 2017 Australian Grand Dairy Awards for the second year running—the highest honour in the industry.