Newhaven redresses gender balance with successful Children’s Panel campaign
Fri 20 Jul 2012
Communications agency Newhaven managed to over-deliver by 70% in the number of suitable applicants, and help redress the gender balance among applicants as part of its campaign to attract new volunteers to the Scottish government’s Children’s Panel.
It received 10,200 responses over the two month campaign period, with a 6,000 target having been in place, which Ken Dixon, partner and planning director at Newhaven, tells Recruiter was “quite an ambitious target in the first place”.
The Children’s Panel sees citizens make decisions about vulnerable children in need of care or who have offended. Each individual panel must contain at least one man and one woman. And as men are significantly under-represented among the volunteering corps, a 55% increase on last year’s campaign in the number of males applying for the scheme was a particularly pleasing outcome. Dixon says that this saw male applicants make up half of all those coming forward, and that this outcome was partly achieved through advertising in sporting media and on male-orientated radio programming
Dixon tells Recruiter that the challenge of working with a public sector organisation in a time of economic austerity meant the agency had to be “really, really smart with our media choices”.
It was “quite a rarefied audience” they were trying to access, and he adds: “We did a lot of work finding out what makes the DNA if you like of our panel”. Targeting the right people and informing them of their responsibilities was key because “one of the big problems is if you get people coming in under false pretences” who then do not stay with the organisation.
One of the posters from the campaign is shown below, and Dixon comments that rhetorical questions around the welfare of the children being looked after by panels were an important part of the campaign. “Partly the campaign flatters the audiences,” he says.
The major strapline of the campaign was ‘Join the Children’s Panel. It’s life changing’.