PR, Darling!

Lucy Northmore managed and executed the campaign for the Atlantic Polo Team in the last race. From planning and logistics to fundraising, sponsorship and PR, Lucy managed the campaign before, during and after the race, where the team only decided to take part just 6 months before the start-line! The team finished first in their class, 2nd out of the entire fleet, reached their charity targets, achieved £640,000 worth of editorial in national, international and lifestyle media and enjoyed a social media campaign that reached 38,000 people.”

I spent some time composing emails and conversations with local marketers and some got back to me but most didn’t. In my search I initially neglected the very enticing option above as presented by the Atlantic Race organizers. No one locally panned out. And so I began to check if it made sense to work with someone who lives so far away. Considering the accessibility of communication around the world, more and more it became obvious that Lucy was the perfect fit for this campaign, as well as perfectly passionate and knowledgeable to assist me in the area of this project that simply isn’t my strong suit – marketing.

Lucy and I just started to work together this month, January. And already I feel more and more excited and hopeful about just how impactful this will be to my campaign. I had my first Skype meeting with her last week. A couple of days before talking to her I started to get that old feeling of being overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done and not really feeling very sure what to do next. I addressed this with her at our meeting and she gave me a handful of immediately actionable tasks that I feel really excited about doing.

Having a professional on my team is definitely going to help me with fundraising, sponsorship, and media exposure. But, more than that, with her help I’m going to be able to build up this campaign in a way that reaches a much wider audience than I could have achieved on my own. By having a solid marketing campaign I will be able to achieve my greater objectives: raising a significant amount of money for Canadian Blood Services and reminding people how important it is to give blood if you can. And, once corporate sponsors get on board, then she’ll really be able to help me maximize the relationship with these supporters.

To use marketing lingo, I’m really excited about the potential reach of this campaign once the race starts. My objective is raise a lot of money for Canadian Blood Services and remind people to donate blood (this is why I chose such a high-profile event). In Atlantic Campaigns’ last race in 2013 they had only 16 teams at the starting line and millions and millions of… reach. This year they have 43 teams signed up. That number will decrease a bit as we approach the starting line, but, it’ll likely be at least 30 teams if not more. Popularity of the sport is growing and it’s a great opportunity for fundraising and awareness. I feel confident that every person that contributes to making this happen, in whatever way they can, will greatly benefit from this unique experience. And I’m grateful to have an expert like Lucy on my team to help me actualize it.

I’m confident that the sponsorship will come in. Sooner or later, it will. And when it does, I’m excited to use all the tools in my arsenal to make this great adventure a win/win experience for all involved (although we might need to add a few more wins to that equation).

*****

I can’t help but think of this scene from Absolutely Fabulous when I think of PR. And I got a British PR-er, no less!

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