Public Information Campaigns (PICs) aim to influence behaviour to bring about a societal change like to smoking cessations or road safety campaigns (PR Today). For this purpose of this assignment, I chose campaigns that highlighted the top issues affecting men and women in 2017.
“Man Up” 2014 was the third phase of the Man Up Campaign devised by Safe Ireland in 2013 and was developed to highlight the positive role men can play in ending domestic violence against women.
I will also look at “This Girl Can” 2017 campaign funded by the National Lottery and commissioned by Sport England which encouraged women to get active in sport and exercise, promote body positivity and challenge stereotypes.
The purpose of the third phase of the Man Up campaign was to show that men can positively influence the lives of women and children around them. There has been a lot of negative perceptions about men and domestic violence. To fight the negative perception, Safe Ireland wanted to show that men can play an important role in ending domestic violence.
- End domestic violence against women and children
- Challenge negative stereotypes of men and enforce the idea that man can be positive role models.
- Raise awareness of the issue of domestic violence
- Raise money for Safe Ireland.
Campaign Strategies and Messages
This strategy employed in this campaign was to use real men as a method of ending domestic violence. It also enlisted Irish influencers to spread awareness of the campaign. It was a much more positive approach to tackling domestic violence by focusing on men as role models rather than abusers.
The campaign sought to end domestic violence against women by targeting men and portraying them and positive role models and careers.
A subtle but interesting message of the campaign was enlisting the destructive term “Man Up”, the title of the campaign and using it to take action against violence.
Safe Ireland transformed the term Man Up from a phrase used to insult men to a phrase used to empower and encourage them to stand up for women and children.
UFC MMA athlete Cathal Pendred approached Safe Ireland as he wished to get involved with the Man Up campaign to help raise awareness about the issue and the role men can play in ending domestic violence.
Man Up partnered with respected Irish musician Hozier to promote the campaign. Hozier’s song Cherry Wine highlights the issue of domestic violence with its accompanying video starring an injured and hurt Saoirse Ronan. Hozier has dedicated the proceeds of Cherry Wine iTunes downloads to the respective charities of the country the download was made. Safe Ireland is the Irish recipient of those proceeds.
Safe Ireland worked with Galway-based Italian photographer Andrea Zipoli to highlight the positive role men have in the lives of women and children. Zipoli produced a series of photos capturing moments in which men are supportive, encouraging and kind. Each photo was captioned to include one sentence describing what the man in the photo has promised to do.
A website was designed and implemented as part of the Man Up campaign and is the primary information source. There is advice on how to get involved with the campaign and how as man you can help make Ireland a safe place for women and children. The video is also embedded on the website as well as the photographs from Andrea Zipoli’s exhibition.
An interesting feature of the website in an incorporated “Quick Escape” button that brings the user on to the google homepage giving users who view the page a quick escape perhaps in the case their abuser happens to walk in on them.
Posters with various men were also produced to help raise awareness about the campaign.
Safe Ireland focused on targeting men through social media and ran campaigns with joe.ie, balls.ie and benchwarmers which included page take-overs and wallpapers, promotion on Facebook and Twitter as well as editorial pieces and promotion from her.ie. Facebook ads were also used and targeted specifically at men.
The hashtag #faceuptodomesticviolence was employed by Safe Ireland and Hozier to aided in promoting the organisation through the hashtag driving traffic to the website and starting a conversation around domestic violence.
Safe Ireland took advantage of the upcoming general election and lobbied politicians to include strategies to end domestic violence in their manifestos.
- The Man Up Campaign received coverage in Italy because of Andrea Zipoli’s exhibition in Ireland
- Sweden has launched their own version of the Man Up campaign because of efforts by Safe Ireland
- Many events were held to raise awareness of domestic violence
- Approx 4,000 visited the website in its first 2 months
- The video with Cathal Pendred was played over 13,000 in 2013/14
- 16,714 click-throughs to the Man Up website
Based on the above stats, it’s clear that the Man Up campaign has been successful if we are to look at its reach but it is difficult to ascertain if the campaign succeeded in ending domestic violence as some sufferers may not come report abuse.
The success of the campaign speaking to men about the role they can play is unclear as most social media reactions involved women supporting women. Perhaps there’s still a stigma attached to men publicly speaking about domestic violence that could be examined, despite the work of the campaign.
This Girl Can
This Girl Can is a celebration of active women who are getting involved in exercise overcoming the fear of judgement about their physical appearance and how they look while doing it. “This Girl Can” follows on from the success of the 2015 campaign featuring real women who “sweat and jiggle”.
- Encourage women to get active
- Promote body positivity among women
- Tell the real story of women who exercise and play sport
Campaign Strategies and Messages
The strategy employed in this campaign was to use real women to tell their stories of why they are involved in sport and exercise. The campaign shows a variety of women of all nationalities and sizes telling why they got involved primarily through video.
The campaign seeks to promote the benefits of getting involved in exercise and sport by promoting body positivity and challenging negative stereotypes.
The video featured various women of the UK participating in sport and exercise. The video features the voice of Maya Angelou (a civil rights activist and poet who passed away in 2014) reciting her poem “Phenomenal Women” while clips of different women in various sports are played through.
Sport England also developed mini-documentaries about all the women featured in the video and hosted them on their website via their YouTube channel.
The website was the hub of activity for the campaign where users could find stories, videos and suggestions on how to active and involved with the campaign. It listed sports and fitness classes available in London which was the location of the video accompanied with a list of questions and answers about getting involved like the benefits associated with it and what sort of equipment needed. There also a section on the website that featured Instagram posts from real women to help people get inspired to exercise.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram were the main channels used in this campaign. The hashtag #thisgirlcan was used across their social media channels to encourage easy navigation of users posts and join the conversation. Users posts on Instagram that had the hashtag were featured on the website in the feel inspired section.
User- Generated Content
The campaign encouraged women to get involved and share their stories and photos. They developed an app where users uploaded an image of themselves participating in sport or exercise and attached a pre-determined slogan to it. They were then given the option to share the image on social media and download it.
- Over 37 million views on Facebook and Twitter alone
- 660,000 tweets about #thisgirlcan
- 500,000 members of “This Girl Can” social-media community
- The gender gap between men and women exercising regularly has fallen from 1.78 million to 1.73 million.
It is evident that this campaign was successful as it achieved its goal of getting more women involved in sport and exercise. It was mainly executed through online channels with its focus centred on video and user generated content.
“Man Up” aimed to influence a group of people whereas “This Girl Can” wanted to influence individual people.
Both campaigns utilised similar tactics in order to promote the message to different target audiences. “Man Up” used video to reach men with the help of an influencer from a male dominated sport associated with aggression and strength to get men’s attention. “This Girl Can” also used video as part of their campaign but with real women instead of influencers.
Both campaigns focused on similar and contrasting public relations tactics demonstrating the versatility and the extent of which PR can be used to achieve organisational objectives.