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The Infant and Toddler Forum & Say Communications - PR Innovation of the Year

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Company: Say Communications, London, United Kingdom
Company Description: Based in London, Say Communications is a top 35 UK Technology and top 20 UK Healthcare Consultancy. In recognition for the agency’s performance over the last 12 months Say has jumped 15 places in this year’s PR Week Top 150 PR Consultancies report, following a 16% increase in fee income against an industry average of 11.5%. Say has won numerous awards and most recently the PRCA DARE awar
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: PR Innovation of the Year

Nomination Title: The Infant and Toddler Forum & Say Communications: The Think Toddler Sized Challenge

Tell the story about this nominated communications innovation since 1 January 2017 (up to 650 words). Describe how the innovation was discovered, developed, refined and/or deployed. Provide an assessment of how the innovation has impacted or will impact your organization, your clients, your industry, markets or/or society.

Genesis

The Infant and Toddler Forum (ITF) is an independent expert group promoting healthy habits and nutrition in early life. Instilling healthy eating habits in early life is becoming a critical issue in the UK as a third of children entering school are either obese or overweight. The ITF has produced guidance and practical resources for parents and healthcare professionals; however incorporating this guidance at toddler mealtimes remains a significant challenge.

The ITF tasked Say with finding a way to develop a practical tool that could help every parent at every meal. Analysis identified a disposition towards sharing ideas among parents on social media, so it was clear that collaborating with parents and leveraging their know-how was the key to creating a solution with high chances of adoption.

Objectives:

-Raise awareness of the need for parents with children aged 1-4 to Think Toddler Sized at mealtimes
-Measured through the number of visits to the online co-creation platform developed for the campaign (target: 25,000 visits over six weeks)
-Create a mechanic to challenge parents with children aged 1-4 to apply their experience and ingenuity to turn the guidelines on healthy eating into something easy practice for all parents to use at mealtimes with their toddlers
-Measured through finding a winner, the proportion of parents engaging with the campaign (target: 10% of visitors) and the proportion of parents generating ideas (target: 1% of the engaged parents).

Strategy

The campaign strategy was based on two pillars:

-Place parents’ know-how at the centre of the campaign by developing an innovative and ground-breaking experience: a co-creation platform capable of unlocking creativity, and allowing parent-driven innovation and idea-sharing for the first time in the client’s history
-Partner with well-known organisations trusted by parents to leverage their influence and channels for rapid and wide outreach and widen the breath expertise of the judging panel.

Execution

The platform was developed with one-click sign-up using social media, an intuitive user experience and a strategic workflow system in mind. Parents were allowed to provide a brief concept at first and more detail later, with the option to upload pictures to empower their creativity.

Rich media content was developed to bring the challenge to life, and all assets were optimised for social media and mobile distribution and tested with a network of parents. This included videos, which clearly explained the challenge, and images and GIFs that highlighted the key reasons to join: prizes; opportunity to meet and share knowledge with other parents, and learn about healthy eating for toddlers.

Continuous engagement was a challenge as parents are often short on time. For this reason, gamification was implemented (points for comments and voting on ideas with prizes for engagement) and a £1000 prize offered for the winning idea.

Parenting bloggers were asked to contribute and invite their followers to join. Support from partners (including Netmums and Tesco Baby Club) boosted credibility and opened up communications channels and communities. Organic and paid social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) were also used.

Results

The agency’s approach blended the most innovative PR and technology tools available in the industry to deliver remarkable results. Social Listening informed the strategy and influenced the language used; the bespoke Co-Creation platform became a social media of its own as people interacted and voted on each other’s ideas; user-generated content became the core of the PR campaign. This resulted in online word-of-mouth and over 50,000 of visits to the platform - 7,000 parents engaged and shared 96 ideas.

The challenge empowered the target audience and made it the central and integral part of the solution process to the healthcare issue. Parents actively learned the guidance through creating meal time tools and the idea selected for development– validated by a judging panel of experts - has been created by parents for parents. The winning solution has the potential to be scaled for use and will be developed in 2018.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to 10 (ten) of the chief characteristics and benefits of the nominated innovation (up to 150 words).
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Key Achievements

-A co-creation platform was created using cutting edge Idea Generation and gamification features, which was a first for both the client and the agency, and was one of the first nutrition co-creation projects aimed at UK parents of toddlers
-The campaign generated 51,867 visits to the platform through partner efforts, paid and organic social media activity
-15 pieces of blog coverage were generated, along with 7 pieces of coverage in parenting publications and 94 pieces of mainstream coverage with a total reach of 144.3 million, showing the broad appeal of the campaign
-51,867 visits to the platform, +107% over target
-7,062 parents (13.6% of visitors) actively engaging on the platform, +182% over target.
-96 ideas have been generated, +285% over target.
-A commercially viable and practical winning idea was found, as were two runner up ideas