Best communications by a not-for-profit organisation 2015 Article icon


Age UK

Agencies: 3 Monkeys, Karmarama

More than one million older people haven’t spoken to a friend, neighbour or family member for one month, while 2.9 million older people feel they have no one to turn to. And, sadly, one in four people will get old alone.

These shocking statistics formed the basis of Age UK’s No one should have no one campaign, which was designed to both highlight the problem and drive relevancy through celebrity support.

The charity knew that it had to create an emotional connection with existing and new audiences, particularly focusing on targeting 35 to 55 year olds, while grabbing the attention of younger people with a social media campaign.

Prior to the campaign’s launch, Age UK conducted consumer research among 2,000 adults to discover the news angles that would resonate. This research shaped the direction of the campaign, and informed news and feature angles.

The social media campaign had a simple premise: people were invited to share pictures of themselves with the person they turned to for advice, company or in times of trouble, using the hashtag #notbymyselfie.

More than 40 celebrities embraced the challenge, with, for example, actor Brian Cox sharing a picture of himself with his sister, comedian Jack Whitehall sharing a picture of himself as a little boy with his grandparents in cowboy costumes while Dame Helen Mirren shared a picture of herself as a teenager with her mother.

Key celebrities, such as singer Pixie Lott, with almost two million followers on Twitter, and footballer Rio Ferdinand, with 6.5 million, ensured that #notbymyselfie reached more than 22 million people. Many of these celebrities had not previously interacted with the charities, which increased its relevancy and reach.

The #notbymyselfi e campaign was promoted for one week on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, after Age UK negotiated an editorial agreement, which led to the hashtag trending on Twitter. The programme also featured interviews with celebrities, such as Birds of a Feather star Lesley Joseph, and Age UK representatives to highlight the issue of loneliness among the elderly.

Paid for opportunities, such as outdoor billboards and adverts in London Underground tube trains, were also co-ordinated alongside the PR activity. Older people were at the heart of the advertising campaign.

The campaign, which took place in February 2015, generated 60 items of positive print and online media coverage, including articles and features in the Daily Express, Woman’s Own and MailOnline, plus nine radio interviews, including one with Age UK ambassador, singer Liz McClarnon.

Such was the interest in the campaign, that Age UK’s website achieved its highest ever traffic with 980,000 visits in February while its followers on Twitter increased by five percentage points. Its Facebook following grew by seven percentage points.

‘This was a very comprehensive campaign,’ said the judges. ‘It was creative and targeted to the audience.’