The Brief & Campaign
Everyone working in PR or advertising likes to create work they genuinely know could impact the lives of the people it is for.
For freuds, this was one of those briefs. If they managed to inspire even one additional family to adopt, that was one less child waiting for their new family.
A coalition of national, regional, and voluntary adoption agencies across the country, supported by the Department for Education (DfE), wanted to create a campaign which could help to educate potential adopters on the process of adoption, put to bed some of their misconceptions and show how wonderful, but also challenging, adoption can be.
The subject area is complex and the team took an earned first approach in order to ensure messages resonated with different people and their barriers or myths they face in light of adoption.
As each individual enquiry is handled by adoption agency staff, it was important to stagger certain elements of the campaign and not overwhelm the agencies.
The strategy was to create a slow, feature-lead earned media approach, using real case studies talking about their journey in their own way - to address the misconceptions and to encourage those thinking about adopting to find out more.
They also commissioned a piece of attitudinal research to dig into how many people have considered adoption or would in the future; whether or not they believe they are eligible to adopt; and some of the key reasons why they might feel they wouldn’t be able to adopt. The results of the survey would underpin a news story to showcase the discrepancies between what people think about adoption and the realities of the process.
They knew the only people who could authentically talk about the realities of adoption – the highs and the lows - were those who have been through it, both the parents and the children.
So they brought these families together to talk about their journey. In order to address the misconceptions and show the modern face of adoption succinctly, they worked with writer and comedian Joy Carter (who was adopted herself) to craft a poem based on the stories of the partaking families, and inviting each one to read lines on camera.
The families came and told their stories, answered questions, and gave honest accounts of adoption, which became isolated films for case study use as well as assets for the website.
They also delivered the lines of the poem which were true to their story, which formed the hero piece of content – a short, 2-minute film for earned media to use alongside a robust piece of research into people’s attitudes about adoption and whether they felt they were eligible to adopt.
In addition, they created a six-part podcast series in which each episode explored a specific misconception about adoption.
The hosts (Carrie and David Grant, Anna Richardson, Lisa Faulkner, Debbie Bright, Annie Price, and Harry Derbidge and Dean Rowland) have all either adopted or fostered children, been adopted themselves or are embarking on their journey to adopt a child. They each interview a parent who has adopted a child to find out the realities of the process, discuss the joys and the challenges of adoption, and dispel some of the most common myths about who can adopt.
The campaign is still in full flow, but so far, they’ve managed to secure several pieces of press coverage in the Daily Express, an article in HuffPost, and a host of regional titles..
Alongside this, they placed celebrity ambassadors, David and Carrie Grant, Sinitta and Debbie Bright, for interviews on Sky News, ITV News, Channel 5, and talkRADIO, as well as placements in consumer titles such as Entertainment Daily.
They're also expecting to see a large number of other features trickle through over the next couple of weeks, especially ahead of National Adoption Week in October.