Consumer PR in a Pandemic: Go Outdoors

Consumer PR

Consumer PR: Objectives

As the Coronavius pandemic hit and brands sought ways to support and connect with consumers, as experts in consumer PR, Smoking Gun was approached by leading outdoor retailer Go Outdoors with a unique consumer PR brief.

As families were confined to their homes, the brand got behind a fundraising idea from a regular bathroom-fitting dad-of-two from Nottingham, who had been camping out in his back garden with the family to raise money for the NHS.

As one of the UK’s biggest suppliers of camping and outdoor gear, this was great positioning for Go Outdoors, but our ultimate objective was to support dad Ian in his goal to raise £100,000 through high profile media exposure.

Consumer PR: Strategy & Approach 

We needed to put Ian’s ‘Great British Campout’ initiative on the national stage.

Our strategy was to tell the compelling personal story of this regular dad making a big difference. We interviewed him to find out all about his journey so far and fundraising goals. 

Capitalising on the media appetite for feel-good stories, we pitched for national TV and radio interviews for maximum exposure, as well as big hitting online coverage that linked to Ian’s JustGiving page.

We kitted out Ian’s family with a new tent and a dedicated Facebook page began uniting people from all over the world who were donating their £2 ‘pitch fees’ to take part from their living rooms and gardens.

Go Outdoors helped spread the word to its millions of email subscribers and social media followers, and offered tips to help families get the most out of their at-home camping experience.  

Consumer PR

Consumer PR: Results

More than 200 media hits and weblinks later, Ian’s fundraising target was well and truly smashed, as donations reached £178,000. The money would support NHS workers on the front line of the pandemic. Over 13,000 people took part from all over the world.

High profile media placements included BBC Breakfast, ITV Good Morning Britain and Lorraine, MailOnline, The Independent, The Sunday Telegraph, The Sun and Daily Mirror – each giving a hat tip to Go Outdoors for its support.
Celebrities including Olympian Greg Rutherford even got involved and, perhaps most proudly, Ian was granted the Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award.