The campaign that encouraged thousands of families to rediscover the great outdoors
As our children live increasingly sedentary lives, the simple pleasures of climbing trees, playing pooh sticks, or pretending to be cops and robbers is all too often overlooked in favour of less active and often more screen-based past times.
With childhood obesity rates rising in the UK, and with climate change presenting a serious threat to life as we know it, educating children and their families about the wonders of the great outdoors has arguably never been as important.
As the UK’s largest provider of quality childcare and early years education, Busy Bees provides children with opportunities to not just learn but to be inspired. Using its influence to effect positive change, Busy Bees was keen to reconnect its children and their families with the great outdoors; encourage new learning opportunities, and promote healthy, active lifestyles. A secondary objective for the client was to harness its stance on the issue to encourage enrolment uplift across its, at the time, 236 UK nurseries through positive, key message-rich press coverage and organic social media engagement. Particular attention was paid to regional press in locations where nurseries were deemed ‘focus sites’ and required additional support to increase occupancy.
To improve both the reach and impact of the campaign, collaboration with a specialist not-for-profit organisation was fundamental. The Wild Life Trusts fulfilled this brief and provided ample synergies. Offering both creative and strategic input during the initial phases of the partnership, Papillion’s dedicated PR team facilitated meetings, defined parameters, and set the objectives. As such, the Busy Bees Goes Wild programme was born.
Structured around the four seasons, the Busy Bees Goes Wild programme encouraged children to complete tasks (such as making bird feeders or growing their own fruit and vegetables) and submit scrapbooks to their nursery manager to be judged. Winners from each nursery would be put forward for regional finals each quarter, before competing at national level at the end of the year.
- Paid-for (advertising) was created to support lead generation activity, earned content, in the form of thought leadership editorial submissions (positioning key client figure heads as voices of authority) were skilfully crafted and placed within high-level care and education sector press.
- Shared content was honed and harnessed across the client’s social media assets to drive organic engagement within the parent and childcare practitioner communities.
- Owned content was used across the client’s website and via its email marketing activity to provide additional information and signpost visitors to other appropriate areas of the website.
- In total, 45 press clippings were secured within the client’s target media. Based on published circulation figures, this resulted in an estimated reach of 3,401,289 (the number of people given the opportunity to see Busy Bees Goes Wild messages).
- Perhaps most significantly of all, over 10,000 families put down the tablets, turned off the television, and ventured outside for some good old fashioned outdoor, nature-based fun.
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