SJA wins twice at PR awards

Award winning PR team

St John Ambulance's Life Lost campaign was a double award winner at the annual CIPR Excellence Awards.

Held at London's Westminster Bridge Hotel on 1 June, the charity was awarded the best Not-for-Profit prize and also won the judges' special award for Measurement and Evaluation.

Each year the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) recognises the most creative and impactful PR campaigns across the country from the past 12 months. This year over 700 entries were received across 27 award categories.

Integrated campaign struck a chord with public

The emotive Life Lost was the charity's first major campaign in almost 15 years and part of its new brand strategy and integrated approach to marketing. Working jointly with PR agency GolinHarris, the in-house team at St John Ambulance emphasised the importance of first aid skills being the difference between a life lost and a life saved. Ultimately, they encouraged the public to reappraise not only the St John Ambulance brand – 65% said they understood the charity better - but also the importance of learning first aid, with over two-thirds stating they would be more likely to seek out information on first aid. As well as mass media coverage, including Radio Four's Today and The Times' editorial leader, 1,000,000 free first aid guides were distributed and nearly 14,000 downloads of the first aid iPhone app were made.

Hard work pays off

Emma Sheppard, Head of PR at St John Ambulance, was elated at winning the awards for a campaign that required a high level of coordination across the charity and with its agencies.

'We raised awareness of the organisation, the importance of first aid and distributed 1,000,000 free first aid guides. One mother told us she saved her daughter from choking, thanks to the campaign, reaffirming its key message that first aid can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.'

Outstanding achievement

CIPR CEO Jane Wilson said that being a finalist for a CIPR Excellence Award – the most demanding in the PR profession – is a tremendous achievement.

'Competition for our awards was as fierce as ever, producing an exceptional quality of entries – outstanding, considering the economic challenges of last year. The public relations world has proved not just that it is resilient but that even when budgets are tight, creativity and a focus on return on investment come to the fore.'

Strong field of competitors

In the not-for-profit category, St John Ambulance was up against campaigns such as MND Association's Incurable Optimism campaign, Beatbullying's The Big March and Macmillan Cancer Support’s General Election Campaign.

The organisation triumphed over all 700 organisations that entered the awards to win the measurement and evaluation prize, demonstrating the importance for all organisations, including those in the third sector, to be able to demonstrate the efficacy of campaigns.