Disasters Emergency Committee

The Challenge

During the Cyclone Idai Appeal, the DEC Communications Director required support to manage the press office as her time and attention was split in multiple directions. She needed a press office manager to supervise the member agency press officers and keep reactive and proactive press activity coordinated and generating coverage throughout the appeal. As well as press office management support, DEC required additional support to maximise television opportunities and explore piggybacking opportunities for fundraising for the appeal.

The Work

Skating Panda were seconded in to DEC to manage the press office, overseeing all press activity, managing the MA press officers and working closely with the content, social and fundraising teams to ensure content and coverage was being generated continuously.

In parallel with the press activity, Skating Panda explored a number of piggybacking routes for the appeal, including broadcast opportunities across sport, entertainment and awards as well as live music events. Skating Panda utilised existing connections and leveraged relationships across the key entertainment channels, as well as forging new routes to key decision makers.

The Impact

Despite Brexit dominating the headlines at the time, the Cyclone Idai Appeal received significant media attention, with coverage across all major news outlets extending across the lifetime of the appeal. The fundraising total raised was £39,000,000 (by June 2019) driven by the press and social media coverage that was generated by a well-coordinated press office, facilitated by Skating Panda’s support. Skating Panda’s piggybacking outreach achieved two pieces to camera from The Voice Judges, Tom Jones & Jennifer Hudson, who have a combined social media reach of over 4.5 million.

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Disasters Emergency Committee