The British Red Cross asked us to help them during one of the most challenging periods in their recent history, in the years after the 2004 Asian tsunami.
One of our first foirees into straight PR, the charity had come under scrutiny to demonstrate results for the record-breaking donations by British people after the tsunami devastated coastlines and populations across the Pacific. So, they needed us to film their work in one particularly hard hit regions: Aceh in Indonesia, where up to 90% of the population had died, lost close family, and their livelihoods.
We traveled to Indonesia with the head of the British Red Cross, Sir Nick Young, and filmed the reconstruction work, survivors, and crucially – we sent there to challenge Nick and the BRC more severely than any British broadcaster had, to help him to speak more clearly and show the public that the Red Cross had indeed spent the millions of pounds of donations properly, and to show how huge an impact that money had had.
Nick and the stories we captured were covered by all of the British national media within 3 days of our return to the UK. The BBC (BBC One, Newsnight, BBC News Channel, online and radio), ITV, Sky, national and international press, and online news agencies took our pictures and copy, while we offered contacts to the BRC’s public relations agency in order for him to do the rounds in live interviews.
As a result of this work, the charity’s PR team the ‘Team of the Year’ Award in the PR Week Awards and others in 2005.
Plus, the coverage, combined with those awards, raised awareness of their work on the ground for the first time since the tsunami 3 years earlier, and was the most successful coverage they’d ever had for their work following the disaster.