Accelerating social change
We work with pioneering organisations and individuals to deliver tangible social change.
We work with Patagonia to highlight their sustainability ambitions among UK audiences.
Our work includes driving grassroots action with environmental partners and translating global to local, to build Patagonia’s profile as one of the leading business voices on climate action.
We created and executed UK media launch for their new online platform, Patagonia Action Works, which aims to protect the planet by connecting people to local grassroot organisations.
We designed a media plan, created the assets and implemented the PR campaign.
Highlights included securing the attendance of high-profile environmental journalists to a briefing event including The Telegraph, New Statesman, The Independent, Financial Times, London Evening Standard and Business Green, resulting in widespread national coverage.
To date we have generated 52 pieces of coverage with over 602 million opportunities to see through target media.
We provided consultancy and activation support for the launch of the transformational flagship sustainability initiative, Project Earth.
Following six months of detailed planning we secured stand out coverage in national print, broadcast, online and sustainability media with over 377 pieces of coverage generated to date.
Our work began more than six months before the launch and fell into five key areas:
Focus and planning – building the narrative
Podcast support – in build up to launch
Launch planning – including detailed development of plans, materials and spokesperson briefings
Profile building – identifying opportunities and securing slots for key spokespeople
Media activation and momentum around the launch
Generating a media reach of >3,370 million, it stimulated widespread discussion, changing global thinking on retail and leading to speaking platforms as well as social media memes. Social media mentions were up 6,700% compared to the previous 30 days.
We worked with NHS Charities Together throughout its COVID-19 appeal. We managed the charity’s reputation and helped grow its profile
It was seeking support across communications including communications strategy creation and planning, partner engagement and development, media engagement, social media management and content creation
As the only way to give money to support the frontline workers, volunteers & patients, NHS Charities Together received unprecedented attention during the pandemic.
We supported the team through planning and content creation to streamline media, partner and enquiries from the general public.
We managed all partnership creation from charity singles and t-shirts to ice-creams and jewelry. This included brands such as M&S and Pandora.
We also provided reactive and proactive media relations, including around Captain Tom’s fundraising, which raised £33 million for the charity.
We worked with Barclays to help its employees feel more confident and comfortable in understanding and responding to a wide range of vulnerable customers.
Whilst there were already a range of resources in place to help support people with additional needs, be it due to age, mental health, life circumstance, illness or disability, staff weren’t always confident using them
We gathered insights from across the business and used these to produce a clear and compelling message framework to support future training and support
What was involved:
Primary research with frontline staff and senior leaders to understand their needs and concerns
Creating and testing message sets to support, guide and empower staff
Helping to build confidence to manage a wide range of customers with additional needs and/or vulnerabilities
A highly successful integrated campaign that distilled complex research and made it relevant to target audiences, securing widespread national media coverage.
Working with scientists to identify and articulate story
Creating thought leadership content
Generating national media coverage, with a reach of more than 263 million OTS
Delivering a Facebook campaign with 1,098,606 media impressions and reach of 532,481 people
Our campaign engaged 7,876 people, contributing to increased database sign-ups and direct fundraising
We started work with community engagement platform Neighbourly and their national business partners including Marks and Spencer, Aldi, Lidl and Danone during the Covid-19 pandemic. We helped them raise awareness of the emergency support available and increase partner involvement, ultimately enabling their UK network of local causes to help over 4 million vulnerable people.
Since then we have continued to work with Neighbourly on a retained basis, building their voice and supporting growth of their business, their charity network and their positive impact.
We provided emergency PR support around the launch of a £1million community fund, encouraging wider business contributions for communities most affected by coronavirus.
This generated immediate media profile, enhancing Neighbourly’s reach at a critical time.
Subsequently we have built an ongoing thought leadership programme, with Neighbourly and its partners. Our work has included news announcements, opinion piece writing and placement, letters to the editors, and social media amplification.
We have helped Neighbourly respond to Danny Kruger’s call for evidence around how to level up our communities and get involved in the APPG for Left Behind Neighbourhoods.
More broadly, we are building partnerships with relevant organisations who, like Neighbourly, recognise the importance of hyper-local charities and community groups.
Poor numeracy skills are rife across the UK and impact individual lives, employers and the economy.
With a shared vision for social change and complementary expertise and knowledge, KPMG and National Numeracy came together to change attitudes towards numeracy and improve individual skills.
We provided PR support and strategic communications to both KPMG and National Numeracy to create and launch the UK’s first ever National Numeracy Day. Launched on 16 May 2018, it celebrated the importance of numbers in everyday life and helped empower individuals to improve their numeracy skills.
We developed an audience-focused strategy supported by stakeholder engagement and public campaigning which led to all targets being beaten.
25,000 people registered to improve their numeracy, starting their journey towards improved numeracy skills and providing a much-needed spur to social mobility and productivity.
Over 100 employers were actively involved
10,000 shares, retweets and likes on social media, trending on UK Twitter for several hours, with a 28.2 million reach and over 7,400 mentions with tweets from Channel 4, BBC, The Prime Minister, and Which?
Celebrity ambassadors such as Bobby Norris shared messages about National Numeracy Day on Twitter
Coverage in Evening Standard, Metro, The Mirror, The Express, Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio, and Sky News
DP World is a global trade enabler operating ports in over 50 countries. The business has long had a commitment to responsible behaviour, but its CR programme in 2015 was focused predominantly on voluntary and community activities.
Forster worked with DP World to establish a communications platform and strategy for its sustainability programme – a new integrated global programme addressing sustainable behaviour across the business including environment, safety and employees as well as society. We developed clear commitments for DP World across the company and coordinated an action plan for delivery. The new programme ‘Our World, Our Future’ launched in February 2016, and since launch we have been retained to work with DP World to roll-out delivery globally and, in 2017, strengthen impact.
Through Our World, Our Future, DP World consistently demonstrates a commitment to innovative initiatives and partnerships to improve its sustainability impact. During the company’s third Global Volunteer Week in 2016 there was a 17% increase in volunteering hours, and through its Global Education Programme more than 5,700 children received teaching from DP World employees about the trade and logistics sector.
Recent initiatives where we have been able to amplify communications and reach have included emergency disaster relief, aligning corporate volunteering to the SDGs and announcing a zero tolerance statement on the illegal wildlife trade.
Forster developed the Let’s Do This campaign for the National Charity Partnership, formed between Tesco, Diabetes UK and British Heart Foundation.
The campaign aimed to help women and their families become healthier by trying new and simple ways to get their bodies moving and eat more healthily.
Since Let’s Do This launched in January 2016, it has reached over 20 million people and helped around one million people become more active. In the last 12 months, 27,000 women have logged and reported on their success on over 80,000 activity and nutrition goals on the Let’s Do This website.
We are strategic communications partners for Helpforce, a pioneering programme improving volunteering to benefit patients, volunteers and NHS staff
We developed Helpforce’s communications approach and launch strategy, resulting in high profile coverage in key opinion former media when we launched the organisation in December 2017.
In just over one year, we have secured more than 150 pieces of coverage across key national and health sector media, significantly enhancing the profile and perception of NHS volunteering through thought leadership, insights, case studies and interviews.
In December 2018, we worked with Helpforce on a major Christmas campaign partnership with the Daily Mail, leading to more than 33,000 people pledging to volunteer with the NHS, offering a combined total of 1,861,200 hours of support.
The campaign – which featured prominently in the newspaper throughout December including five front pages – received backing from a wide range of public figures. The campaign was praised by Theresa May, the head of NHS England and the Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. The Prince of Wales called it “an incredible example of British spirit that will make a real difference to so many people’s lives in the months and years to come”.
We are working with Centre for Ageing Better to help ensure more people can enjoy a good later life. The organisation was set up with an endowment from the Big Lottery Fund of £50m and is working to bring fresh thinking to society’s challenges and opportunities as more people live longer.
We created a new brand for the charitable foundation, developed its website and produced its initial communications strategy.
We are strengthening its voice through a reactive press office, and a rolling feature / thought leadership programme that puts the organisation at the heart of the debate.
Relate is a household name, but it must still remind the public why it needs their funding and support.
Our challenge was to develop a strong case for support and to develop a vibrant and memorable new campaign which would be returned to year-on-year.
We created a compelling core narrative for Relate which explained how relationships are the beating heart of our lives. We subsequently developed the Breaking Point campaign, with an emphasis on how families at breaking point need Relate’s expert support.
The campaign was linked to a report that revealed that one in five families were at breaking point. Launched in May 2016, it achieved more than 100 media pieces with a total circulation of 100 million. Relate will return to the campaign in 2017 with a strong emphasis on fundraising.
Working in partnership with Business in the Community and Public Health England, we have created a suite of toolkits for employers with a focus on employee health and wellbeing;.
The groundbreaking toolkits synthesize relevant expertise and provide free practical support and advice for whole-person wellbeing, tackling taboo subjects from mental health or sleep to domestic abuse and suicide prevention, along with practical guidance about how physical and musculoskeletal health are interlinked with mental wellbeing.
The toolkits were developed and piloted with and for businesses. Leading companies from the BITC wellbeing leadership team have cascaded the information through their networks and supply chains. Since launch the toolkits have been downloaded more than 15,000 times and the suite is set to grow in 2018.
We’ve worked with Recycle for London on a range of engaging campaigns since June 2016 to raise awareness and increase recycling rates. Our media engagement for year one resulted in a combined total of 72 pieces of coverage across broadcast, online and print, with a range of London-wide and borough specific outlets.
We developed a fun media story around bad bathroom habits as well as hosting two interactive portaloo confession booths, where we distributed branded loo rolls with recycling messaging. We generated 18 pieces of media coverage with a combined circulation of 33,501,887 and increased the reach on Facebook by over 13,000% as well as boosting visits to the website by over 15%
We developed tailored stories to promote electrical repair workshops, resulting in 13 pieces of coverage with a total reach of 3,260,683, including interviews on BBC Inside Out and BBC Radio London
We encouraged Londoners to swap glitter for a different kind of sparkle, leading to 9 different articles with a combined reach of 186,844
The TUC commissioned Forster to develop a compelling public-facing campaign in response to the Government’s trade union bill, which threatened the basic right to strike.
Our award winning campaign centred on the individuals affected by workplace rights and who had taken strike action as a last resort. It aimed to both engage the public and talk directly to ministers who would be attending the third reading of the bill.
We held a photography shoot with real-life case studies and developed a simple style that ensured the message could be clearly understood. The campaign was placed in key public locations, including major rail stations and outdoor sites around central London and via social media channels.
The campaign successfully added pressure to the debate around the bill, which is still ongoing. It also won PR Week’s 2016 Public Affair award.
We have worked with betty for schools since March 2017, launching its period education programme and driving awareness and engagement among teachers and parents of girls and boys aged 8-12.
We have highlighted the value of the programme by running creative campaigns to challenge taboos and raise awareness of the issues surrounding current period education and girls and women’s attitudes and knowledge of their bodies and cycles. We have also supported the implementation of the education programme via targeted promotion of the ‘betty bus’, an interactive touring resource for period education.
In five months, we have generated 121 pieces of targeted coverage with a reach exceeding 263 million, which has contributed to a significant rise in the numbers of teachers downloading resources – 1014 in total.
Our work to promote the betty bus contributed to the original target for bus sign ups being exceeded by 234% within the first two weeks after launch, and more than 800 schools have requested visits from the bus to date.
Recent evaluations show that over two thirds (69%) of pre-pubescent girls felt more prepared to start their period and nine in 10 (91%) felt that following the education they received, they would know what to do when they did. Additionally, 63% felt less scared or worried about periods than previously.
The Young Women’s Trust supports and represents young women who are struggling with confidence and employability, through their Work It Out service. We were set the challenge of driving young women, aged 18-30 on low or no income, to sign up to the service.
Our approach was a digital advertising campaign. Thorough channel plans were developed for Facebook, Twitter and Google AdWords. We also identified our two key audience groups
to target – ‘stuck and strained’ and ‘back to the future’. Using these two audience groups
we developed a suite of keywords and graphics which were shared at various points throughout the six weeks.
Young Women’s Trust set us the goal of generating 100 sign-ups over the six week period. We reached this KPI within the first two weeks and received 646 sign-ups in total. Web traffic also increased by 45% from start of campaign to end and 524 new page likes on Facebook and 212 followers on Twitter were gained as a result of the campaign.
Throughout constant campaign optimisation and detailed audience analysis, we produced a suite of graphics and ad copy that successfully drove action from our key audiences.
Forster began working with Anna Freud Centre in 2015, at a time of exciting change and evolution for the charity. As a charity that has delivered pioneering mental health care for children and families for over 60 years, they were embarking on an exciting project to develop a new Centre
of Excellence in King’s Cross, London. Forster’s role was to develop and deliver communications to support a capital appeal to help fund the new Centre of Excellence, and concurrently, to review and refine the charity’s brand, to ensure that it was fit for purpose and accurately reflected their pioneering, dynamic ethos.
In 2016, the charity unveiled their new brand under the name Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families – reflecting their unique focus on making the whole family part of a child’s mental health journey and treatment. Forster have worked closely with the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families leadership to put out a call for a step change in the way we conceive of and treat children’s mental health.
We have been working with clinicians and professors within the Centre to bring the latest in scientific research and understanding of mental health in children to the public with great success, notably in our partnership with the Huffington Post and the Duchess of Cambridge’s ‘Young Minds Matter’ series.
We developed and implemented a media relations campaign for SRUK that put people living with the conditions at the heart of the story.
The campaign used new research to highlight how little was known about Scleroderma and Raynaud’s amongst the UK public, whilst contrasting this with statistics that showed Raynaud’s was as common as hayfever or diabetes.
Through compelling case studies, we highlighted the importance of greater awareness of the conditions and the need for further research to help with early diagnosis and treatment.
The campaign resulted in over 20 pieces of high quality media coverage and a significant increase in visits to the SRUK website.
Forster was approached by Age UK to create an engaging campaign that would raise their profile following their merger and unite all winter activity undertaken by the UK’s leading charity for older people.
We created Spread the Warmth, Age UK’s first integrated campaign platform which raised over £800,000 in the first year and was instrumental in securing an additional £20 million of government investment in keeping older people warm.
It won the PR Week Best Integrated Campaign Award. Spread the Warmth is now used by Age UK as a model for all their campaigns.
Over the last ten years, we have helped turn a little known medical association into the leading authority on Plastic Surgery in the UK.
We created a voice for the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) with a new visual identity, website and communications programme that engaged members, the public and key stakeholders. We have consistently led on the issues that matter to drive the debate and improve patient safety.
Our work in response to the PIP breast implant crisis helped ensure accurate information reached the women in need and won Best Crisis Management at the Corp Comms Awards. Our campaign to help the public make safer choices on cosmetic surgery – Think Over Before You Makeover – has reached millions of people and is now being replicated by other Associations across the world.
In five years we’ve helped to transform business attitudes towards mental health in the workplace through our work on Business in the Community’s Workwell programme.
Collaborating with Mind, the Work Foundation, CIPD, Mental Health First Aid, Mental Health at Work and a range of major businesses, we’ve opened discussion about the need to build better organisational wellbeing approaches and have given business leaders confidence and opportunity to speak out about mental health.
Our work has pushed the dial on the conversation and collectively, approaches developed by the Wellbeing at Work leadership team businesses have positively affected more than half a million employees.
Crohn’s & Colitis UK has been supporting patients, working with healthcare professionals and campaigning for improved care for 35 years, and needed a strong new brand and position in 2015 to reflect its leading stance.
We undertook extensive research with patients, supporters, healthcare professionals and staff to identify the charity’s organisational strengths and weaknesses. Based on our findings we developed key messages and articulated an organisational brand personality and bold visual identity which highlighted all of the charity’s strengths: personal, active, inspiring, brave and knowledgeable.
Since the launch of the new brand the charity’s income has increased – from £3.7m in 2014 to almost £5m in 2016. Web traffic increased from 63k sessions in March 2015 to 153k sessions in March 2016
Our media relations campaign for Cyclescheme’s latest national Cycle to Work Day was a great success.
The number of people who pledged to cycle to work exceeded 40,000.
#CycleToWorkDay trended on Twitter and many member associations promoted CTWD through their extensive networks to get commuters on their bikes.
This was the fifth annual Cycle to Work Day and in all years previous a combined total of 115,451 people have pledged to cycle to work.
Derbyshire County Council had a core challenge – to improve the health of people in Derbyshire (where obesity levels of 66.9% of adults were higher than the national average) by educating about the importance of sensible portion sizes. Our response was to develop the Portion Size Wise campaign – an approach which uses clear visual indicators including photography and graphics to make it easy to understand appropriate portion sizes.
We worked with local focus groups to refine the campaign’s style and messaging and to ensure that we were hitting the right note. We had to make sure our messages were both simple to understand without being patronising or judgemental.
The campaign launched in June and has been following a media plan with spikes of activity. By using a blended digital approach we have been reaching target audiences in Derbyshire through frequent, targeted social advertising which has resulted in nearly 700 people signing up to complete a two week portion challenge. More recently we’ve been working with some of our original focus group members to run a blog which lets them tell their success stories of following the Portion Size Wise approach to eating.
We were commissioned to encourage people aged 11-18 in Lambeth to learn about food and eat more healthily, as part of Lambeth Borough Council’s Flagship Food Programme. We needed to create a sustainable campaign and so worked with young people to actively participate in its creation and delivery. Through consultation and testing we established a clear campaign idea, style and messages that we knew would resonate with the audience.
The campaign launched at an event supported by our young ambassadors at Myatt’s Field Park in August 2016, which included a food demonstration by celebrity chef and Lambeth local, Levi Roots. The launch was featured on London Live which has an average daily reach of 175,000.
We planned a highly targeted social media advertising campaign, serving specially curated content to our audiences in Lambeth over two two-week bursts.
Results of the first two-week burst:
3,827 clicks from young people; 2,303 from parents to website from social ads
Ads reached 30,819 young people and 23,790 parents
2,087 downloads of healthy recipe cards from website from young people
2,236 clicks to the recipes and advice pages from parents
20,148 young people and 17,456 parents reached
Since 2009, our award-winning work for Electrical Safety First has helped the charity become a powerful public voice on electrical safety and home safety more generally.
Last year, we generated 825 pieces of coverage, with circulation of over three billion – the most successful in the organisation’s history in terms of both communications reach and consumer action.
We created a multi award-winning campaign to raise awareness of the dangers to children of burns from hot hair straighteners. We created a powerful film that hit home to such an extent with parents and consumers that it led to one manufacturer increasing the safety of their products.
We have worked with the Marine Stewardship Council since 2010, supporting the corporate communications team with branding, messaging, and creative design.
In the last year we have worked with the MSC to re-articulate their visual brand, focusing on clear and direct content and maximising the beauty inherent in the output of their work to protect the life in our world’s oceans.
October 2015 saw the launch of the MSC’s latest Annual Report which acts as a flagship publication for this new brand visualisation. We worked with the MSC team to identify an entirely new approach for this year’s report, putting real stories at its heart, before applying the new style to a beautifully-designed, visually impactful publication.
The National Children’s Bureau and the Council for Disabled Children came to Forster with an exciting challenge – how to make the NHS constitution, which explains everyone’s rights when dealing with the NHS, accessible to young people through a new visual style and digital solution.
Every possible solution was on the table, which we relished. As a result we could use a truly human-centred-design approach using immersion sessions and workshops with teens and young people with physical and learning disabilities and other life-limiting conditions. We worked with our target audience at every stage of the project to design and develop content, structure and style which resonated with them and their peers. The results challenged some of our preconceptions – it turned out that young people don’t necessarily want an advanced fancy app, but they do get impatient with unnecessary show-off website movement and information which you have to search for to find.
We ended up with a clean, stripped-back responsive website which provides clear and direct information via digestible text, films featuring young people and engaging illustration. The site is designed to be as accessible as possible, using sign-language, text options, accessible fonts and a simple site structure. The NCB and CDC subsequently commissioned Forster to generate a second site using the same style, to support young people wishing to access IASS support services across the UK.
We have worked as part of an all agency group to deliver the PR and corporate communications services for National Citizen Service (NCS) since March 2014.
Initially our role was to translate NCS’s strategy and ambition into PR to drive sign-ups of teenagers, focusing on targeting parents and other influencers. Currently we are working with the corporate communications team to support and build organisational reputation as NCS evolves into a Royal Chartered Body.
One of our key challenges has been making NCS relevant to the influencers and parents of teenagers and to do this we focused on the opinions of young people, building stories around issues of mutual interest. Themes included the ‘tinderisation’ of CVs and how exam pressure can be successfully addressed.
Our coverage KPIs have been consistently exceeded, with a media reach of over 2 billion last year. In 2016 we secured coverage in 55% of the highest indexing titles read/listened to by parents of teens, 46% of which included a weblink and 98% one or more key messages.
High levels of awareness driven by our PR campaigns has contributed towards NCS becoming the fastest growing youth organisation in over a century.