Rippler

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Company: Rippler, Stockholm, Sweden
Company Description: Rippler - founded in 2006 by Katrin Ludvigsson and Åsa Wilde - is an award winning, humble and super-efficient agency that makes external and internal communications. Our simple view is that PR that drives business is more about what you do than what you say.
Nomination Category: Communications & Marketing Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Public Service

Nomination Title: Ripplers Campaign For a More Humane Stockholm

In up to 525 words, tell the judges about the nominated campaign: its genesis, development, planning, commission, and performance to date:

Stockholms Stadsmissio, (SSM), work for “a more humane Stockholm.” Central to their work is to help people living in homelessness to regain power over their lives, change their life situation and become part of the community. The big ethical challenge, when raising this issue, is how to gain media coverage and engage the target audience without exploiting the individuals that SSM help.

The main objectives of the campaign were to raise the issue of homelessness in Stockholm and increase donations to SSM in the run-up to Christmas. The goal was to keep the target audience exposed to the campaign over time to increase awareness and understanding. We also wanted to engage participants from SSM's operations to make the campaign “real” for the audience while giving participants a sense of purpose.

We know that donations increase when the issue of homelessness is illustrated through the personal tragedies of people living on the streets. But who wants to have their life put on display as a tragic case? We wanted to create a context for powerful personal stories that would empower rather than exploit the people that SSM is dedicated to help. So we gave them a platform to tell their stories on their own terms.

Tapping into the booming interest for photography and the immense popularity of Fotografiska (Scandinavia’s most esteemed museum of photography), we armed participants from SSM’s homelessness projects with cameras. With a mission to show “their Stockholm” through the camera lens, the campaign gave a sense of purpose and identity to these photographers. Their photos and photo captions gave us content powerful enough to engage target audience and generate both a live exhibition as well as daily media coverage.

The campaign was pitched to Fotografiska. The idea of juxtaposing the upcoming exhibition with David LaChapelle’s colorful surreal celebrity photography with the stark socio-realism of photographers living with homelessness intrigued them.

11 people from the homelessness projects participated, documenting “their Stockholm”, mentored by 3 photographers. Meanwhile, we pitched the idea of running a series of articles based on the campaign to DN Stockholm, Sweden’s largest morning daily. They published one photo and the story behind it daily from 1-24 December as a Christmas Calendar, paying the participants for the image rights, treating them like regular freelancers. Media were invited to the opening on Christmas Day and offered interviews with the participants. Fotografiska used their channels (including one of Sweden’s largest Facebook pages) to push for the exhibition.

The results? Stunning.

The donations increased by 64% from the same period the year before and the exhibition had 25 000 visitors in the two weeks it was running (62% above average).

The campaign reached a major part of the target audience daily for almost four weeks. DN also published in-depth interviews with 3 of the participants, resulting in both cover and full-page spreads. Coverage peaked on Christmas Day with 11 million reached through the major newspapers, radio and a 2:42 min cover in the national news channel (SVT). This generated an impressive 23.3 MSEK in media value.

But most importantly, the participants were given a voice together with a sense of purpose and belonging.

Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the team that created and carried out the nominated communications campaign (up to 125 words):

Katrin is one of the co-founders of Rippler Communications, MD and expert within crisis communication. Before she founded Rippler, she worked as a project manager at a larger PR-agency, handling both Swedish and international clients within the consumer market as well as within B2B. Her academic background is a liberal arts degree with majors in both journalism and international relations from University of Minnesota.

She founded Rippler with the belief that strong communication is only effective if it is grounded in an act, belief or the core business of the company. I.e. Rippler works by the device that PR that drives business is about what you do rather than what you say.