FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
3 December 2014
A new communications agency has won Gold in the Not-for-profit Campaign at the CIPRride Awards, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire region for a pro bono campaign. Amplify Communications, set up in 2012, was given the award for its work with Harrogate Homeless Project.
Harrogate Homeless Project is a small charity focused on service delivery. Amplify supported Harrogate Homeless Project through a pro bono competition, Amplify It, delivering an awareness raising media campaign to promote the charity’s status as a local provider of the national No Second Night Out scheme. The scheme aims to prevent homelessness by intervening as soon as someone finds themselves with nowhere to stay and the campaign was in part designed to encourage members of the public to contact the charity if they see anyone sleeping rough by calling the charity’s 24-hour phone number.
The campaign, which launched in October 2013, included a creative survey to understand local people’s attitudes to homelessness, a five-week media partnership with the Harrogate Advertiser and an offer to journalists to spend time overnight with the HHP on-call team. The launch achieved blanket coverage across all local media including BBC and independent broadcast and all newspapers. Between 1 October 2013 and 31 March 2014, 55 clients self-referred into the No Second Night Out scheme as a result of public awareness of the scheme – an increase of 20 per cent.
In its write-up, CIPR Yorkshire and Lincolnshire said: “Amplify’s pro bono project achieved excellent sustained media coverage, exceeded all the operational objectives to increase referrals from homeless people themselves and the public, and developed long term relationships with the business community. A fantastic campaign!”
Aimee Gee, Director of Amplify Communications, said “This was a fantastic campaign to work on. We were a young agency at the time and Harrogate Homeless Project really put a lot of trust in us. It worked because we felt like we were their in-house team – they took the time to help us understand the service and the needs of the people they support. The support from local media was amazing, especially Harrogate Advertiser and Stray FM – they pulled out all the stops and helped us achieve what we needed to for the charity.”
Andy Kirk, Transition Fund Project Leader, at Harrogate Homeless Project, said: “The number of rough sleepers who self-referred into the No Second Night Out scheme increased by 20 per cent on the year before and we had a number of direct referrals from members of the public who had seen the adverts or read about us in the paper. We have really seen the value of the work Amplify has done with us.”
Amplify Communications is a virtual agency made up of six directors who met when they worked together as the in house PR and campaigns team at a national charity. The agency works uniquely with the not-for-profit sector and, in addition to Harrogate Homeless Project, has worked with The Children’s Society, Relate, Oxjam, mentoring programme ReachOut, North Yorkshire Scouts, Bridge Community Farms, Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre Cheshire and Merseyside, Bradford Environmental Action Trust and youth homelessness charity SASH.