Wednesday, 12 June 2024
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Wednesday, 12 June 2024

Clearly recognised for its support of the Baton of Hope UK

COMMUNICATIONS consultancy Clearly PR has scooped two prestigious awards for its support of suicide prevention charity, the Baton of Hope UK. 

Clearly, a certified B Corp, was honoured in May’s Creative Bath Awards 2024, the south-west’s most prominent awards event, promoting the regional creative, tech and cultural sector. For its work launching the Baton of Hope charity and running media relations for its 2023 summer tour, the agency claimed the award for the best ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’. Clearly was then presented with the evening’s ‘ACE Award’, given to the most outstanding category winner on the night as chosen by the judges. 

The Baton of Hope was launched in Parliament at an event attended by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in May 2023 and subsequently gained phenomenal traction through press coverage of a nationwide tour in late June and early July. A physical Baton was carried through 12 cities in 12 days, serving as a symbol of hope for 1,000 baton-bearers, all of whom had lived experience of suicide or had experienced mental ill health. The tour culminated at 10 Downing St, where the Baton was presented to Maria Caulfield, Minister for Mental Health, and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak recorded a personal video message praising the charity as ‘the biggest suicide prevention initiative we’ve ever seen’. 

Clearly was appointed to lead the Baton of Hope’s communications and PR strategy after the charity initially struggled to centralise its key messages, amid a complex network of stakeholders and partners across the 12 locations. Clearly’s brief was to provide a consistent message across the campaign and to ‘drive change – not only by overcoming stigma and prompting a new conversation, including in the workplace but by engaging government and encouraging a new national focus on the issue’. Despite suicide taking the lives of upwards of 6,000 people in the UK each year, it received practically no media attention. 

Following the launch in Westminster, the Clearly team, led by Client Services Director James Gwinnett, secured almost 400 pieces of media coverage for the tour across its two-week duration, including multiple hits with major national broadcasters such as Sky News, BBC Breakfast, ITV, Channel 4, and 5 News.  

Clearly worked with 100s of the Baton bearers to tell their compelling and tragic stories of losing loved ones to suicide, also enlisting the endorsement of celebrities, sports stars and other notable personalities along the way. Among the high-profile supporters were Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo, DJ Norman Cook, footballer Will Vaulks, and former Love Island star-turned-UK Youth Mental Health Ambassador, Dr Alex George, who lost his younger brother Llŷr to suicide in 2020. 

The power of these stories compelled the media to finally take note of an issue that has stagnated for two decades, with minimal action taken to address what is the leading killer of people under the age of 35. Broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, 5 News, Sky News and many others covered the tour extensively, while Clearly calculated that the print and online coverage of the tour drew an audience of over 5 million readers. 

It was this impact and the breadth of the conversation around the subject that drew the judges’ attention at this year’s Creative Bath Awards 2024, ‘an annual celebration of Bath’s brilliant creative businesses and individuals.’ The judges commended Clearly for a ‘Powerful, important, creative, impressively thought out and well-executed campaign.’ 

James Gwinnett, Client Services Director at Clearly PR, said:

“The strength of the Baton of Hope campaign lay in storytelling; where various cities wanted to put MPs and similar spokespersons forward for media exposure, we insisted that it was the personal experiences of those touched by suicide whose voices had to be heard. But, despite the emotional nature of the project, none of the team, even in our wildest dreams, could have anticipated the extent to which the tour started a much-needed conversation. It moved us deeply and continues to do so. Of course, it wasn’t about winning awards, but the recognition from Creative Bath is gratefully received.” 

Andrea Sparke, Trustee of the Baton of Hope UK and Organising Committee Member for the tour, said:

“Clearly played a critical role for us in our tour and produced amazing results, handling everything with sensitivity and professionalism. As a fledging charity at that time with a small internal team of dedicated volunteers, in the run-up to the tour, it quickly became apparent that we needed to hire an external communications agency to assist us as we were becoming overwhelmed. Their contribution was simply outstanding and we were all incredibly appreciative of the dedication and passion for our mission that James and the team demonstrated, all whilst Clearly were also juggling other deadlines for other clients. They became an extension of our team seamlessly and we will be forever grateful for the part Clearly played.” 

Greg Ingham, Founder of the Creative Bath Awards, added:

“Brilliant ideas are rare – and brilliant ideas which have such impact and are so important are much rarer still. What Clearly PR created with the Baton of Hope team is extraordinary. The judges were particularly keen to highlight that they were impressed and proud that this highly successful national campaign was created and implemented by a Bath business.” 

Clearly, which achieved B Corp certification in 2021, has established itself as a leading communications consultancy in the field of ESG and not-for-profit initiatives. Other charity clients include bath-based St John’s Foundation, the 11th oldest charity in the UK, which celebrated its 850th anniversary earlier this year with a special service at Bath Abbey attended by Queen Camilla. This also achieved nationwide press coverage.  

For more information on Clearly’s specialist charity PR expertise, please visit: www.clearlypr.co.uk or email: james@clearlypr.co.uk 

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