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Operation Teddy Bear

~~We worked with the Church family on the Operation Teddy Bear campaign with the objective of raise awareness and funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Brain Tumour Research, two charities close to the hearts of the Church family.

In June 2014, 10-year-old Finlay Church was diagnosed with a diagnosed with a Grade 4 Glioblastoma brain tumour and is receiving treatment at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. To thank the hospital and to support other children, Finlay and his family decided to try to raise money by trying to beat the record for the longest line of teddy bears, which stood at 4,041.

Our strategy was to use social media as the campaign driver to create general awareness of both the Guinness World Record attempt and the fundraising efforts for Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Brain Tumour Research. We also used traditional media to support the campaign.

We came up with ‘#opteddybear’ and encouraged people to take selfies with their teddy bears, to post them on social media and then to encourage others to do the same, using ‘#opteddybear’. We drafted instructions and got the Church family and friends to circulate them to their friends. Within days of the campaign launch, hundreds of people and children posted their selfies on Facebook and Twitter to support the campaign.

The second stage of the campaign was to engage with celebrities to support the campaign. We encouraged them to also take selfies and to upload it onto their Twitter accounts which created traction between their followers and our hashtag ‘#opteddybear.’

Results:  A new Guinness World Record was set at 15,534 bears in a line with 507 donations made totalling at £19,611. We received 109 mainstream media mentions. 84 pieces were broadcast media and a total circulation of media coverage 50,191,440 million. The social media campaign generated national and local media interest. We got selfies from Olly Murs, Eamonn Holmes, Angela Griffin, and retweets from BBC Midlands Today and Birmingham Mail. Hyper-local coverage including The Village online magazine and Solihull Updates Facebook page.

Following the success of the campaign we went on to win the CIPR PRide Gold Award for the best ​Community Relations Campaign!




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