Wednesday 05 December 2018, London

The December 2018 PM Forum London event began way back in June, when members were asked which charity the Christmas event should support as well as bringing together the PMF community to ‘give back’ their time and ideas for a worthy cause. The response was resounding, with more than one-third choosing Dementia UK. Around 50 PM Forum members gathered, with coffee and creativity, to offer their skills and expertise to a charity that is big enough for the ideas to be feasible, but not too big for the session not to have an impact.

After an intro from London Committee Member Charlotte Green, the brief was then outlined by visiting Dementia UK team members Sarah Austin, Head of Community and Events Fundraising, and Daisy Wilson, Corporate Development Manager. They presented a compelling video of a real-life dementia story, which inspired us with information of Dementia UK’s services through their Admiral Nurse service. These nurses provide unparalleled support to those living with Dementia and their carers.

The team explained how Dementia UK are currently raising money, through their ‘Time for a Cuppa’ campaign, similar to MacMillan’s coffee morning. Paulette Winchester Joseph, Deputy Clinical Lead Admiral Nurse, then brought to life the day-to-day work with dementia patients and their families through her first hand experience. Staggeringly, there are currently 261 Admiral Nurses across the UK providing support to approximately 990,000 dementia sufferers and their loved ones - 3,800 patients per nurse. The challenge for event participants was to generate ideas that would contribute to their efforts to reach more people, raise more money, and meet more demand.

THE CHALLENGE

The room was split into six teams, each looking at critical challenges in three key areas – Communications, Brand Awareness and Fundraising – and given instructions to workshop new and creative ways that Dementia UK can enhance their marketing and fundraising efforts. The visiting Dementia UK team members circulated each of the teams to provide experience and answer questions directly.

Communications

Two teams were asked to think about the Dementia UK and Admiral Nurses communications. They looked at the problems and possibilities of the two brands, thinking about messaging and perceptions of the two. They also worked with the Dementia UK team to think more about perceptions of dementia itself – how it’s different from Alzheimers and common assumptions relating to the age of those with dementia.

Brand Awareness

The next two teams were tasked with formulating ideas for initiatives that raise awareness of Dementia UK and Admiral Nurses. The teams discussed how existing well-known charity events and successful campaigns, such as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the AIDS Memorial Quilt and Alzheimers Society Memory Walk, convey their brand messages and reach their target audiences. Through insight from the Dementia UK team, they considered how dementia doesn’t discriminate around age, sex or race – that it’s equally important to teach young people, as everyone will know someone in their life who has dementia.

Fundraising

The final two teams had the brief to conceive potential ‘products’ or campaigns to raise money for the charity and its services. This could be reimagining or work alongside the ‘Time for a Cuppa’ event. Through collaborative workshops with the Dementia UK team members, ideas ranged from novel and quirky, to inclusive community or corporate events. The teams also considered how digital platforms could help enhance the execution of campaigns, owning hashtags, encouraging sharing and viral videos, even developing sponsored Snapchat and Instagram story filters.

After playback from each of the six teams to the room, everyone agreed that there were some really clever and creative, but feasible ideas generated. PM Forum members came away inspired and hopeful that their input from the session would enable Dementia UK and Admiral Nurses to develop and launch more ambitious fundraising projects, generating more awareness and financial support for those involved.

Jed Backhouse, Creative Manager
Infinite Global