UTS Library

Bank of Queensland Corporate Charity Event


Bank of Queensland

PR Company: 

Spin Business Solution

Award Category: 

Award Type: 

Call Number: 

2004 D 2



Executive Summary: 

In May 2003, Bank of Queensland (BOQ) approached Spin Business Solutions to develop an event that would support the Bank in its efforts to raise funds for charity. Bank of Queensland also wanted the event to raise their profile and cement their name amongst Queensland?s corporate heavy weights. BOQ initially thought a corporate golf day.

After assessing the associated costs and limited outcomes of a golf day Spin Business Solutions created a plan to hold a corporate charity event, a lunch that would be a "must-do" for Brisbane?s corporate community. The only way to combine a "must do" event, with fund raising, media, penetration into the corporate world, and sponsorship was to create an event with a headline international speaker.

By June 2003 Spin Business Solutions had secured the services of former New York Lord Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. On June 30, Spin Business Solutions presented BOQ with a comprehensive plan on how we could work together to meet their key objectives.

The Bank of Queensland Corporate Charity Event featuring Rudi Giuliani took place on Friday August 22, 2003, only eight weeks later. It was the largest corporate lunch ever held in Brisbane with 2,233 people in attendance and raised $180,000 for charity. The lunch broke records for raffle sales with over $15,000 in raffle tickets sold in less than 10 minutes. It established long-term clients and public recognition from the Premier down for the ever-expanding Bank of Queensland.



Situation Analysis: 

Bank of Queensland (BOQ) is a fast growing bank with a need to grow its profile amongst Queensland business community.

Their aim was to develop a charity fundraising event that would provide a platform to support their business banking objectives for the Brisbane market.

With a decentralised and retail friendly banking network the marketing strategy at that time was to focus and attract SME business to the bank.

The concept was simple. Develop an event that was accessible and appealing to the target audience, provided opportunity to communicate key message and would raise significant funds for charity. What the event needed to do this however was a high calibre speaker.

For six months Spin Business Solutions searched for an international speaker. In June 2003 we finally heard a positive response from former New York Mayor, Rudi Giuliani.

Spin Business Solutions was contracted on June 30, 2003 to:

  • Develop the plan and concept
  • Secure and negotiate the contract for Rudy Giuliani
  • Manage and coordinate all production of all print collateral including invites, email communications, menus, auction lists, raffle tickets etc?
  • Develop and implement a sponsorship strategy
  • Manage and negotiate an advertising strategy
  • Secure an MC
  • Coordinated and produced the lunch
  • Coordinate all of the fundraising activities
  • Secure raffle and auction items at no cost
  • Produce and direct in-house video production
  • Work with BOQ Corporate Affairs with pr strategy
  • Coordinate all major parties and VIP guests
  • Organise and produce all signage, display and table settings
  • Coordinate all security and travel requirements
  • Develop and implement ticket sales and direct mail strategy



The BOQ Corporate Charity Event concept evolved from:

  • Researching popular and contemporary speakers.
  • Informal surveys to list ?drawcard? speakers.
  • Researching venues and potential sponsors
  • Cost estimates and research was conducted to develop projected budgets.
  • High profile community members and BOQ customers/providers were consulted to compile a sponsorship target list.
  • Local media outlets were sounded out to ascertain who could provide the most lucrative form of media sponsorship.
  • The guest speaker?s profile and media interest was researched to gauge how much ?media interest? his/her appearance would create and how many ticket sales his/her appearance would help generate.

Target Policies: 

Target publics included:

BOQ Charities

BOQ wanted to use this event to communicate their commitment to helping their preferred charities.


We needed to communicate to employees:

  1. Help target potential event attendees.
  2. Leverage this event to penetrate new markets, secure business and in some cases develop a profile within their own communities or markets.

Brisbane Business

BOQ wanted to use this event to generate business banking.


The ticket sales would rely on pre promotion so media coverage was important. Media also provided a broad communication path for corporate key messages.

Potential Sponsors

With no budget sponsors were imperative for the events financial viability.

Communication Strategy: 


The Communication Strategy was two-pronged.

  1. Communicate with Brisbane business to buy tickets to ensure success.
  2. The second strategy, develop an event that would:
  • Communicate BOQ?s key messages to the business community
  • Raise BOQ?s profile
  • Communicate BOQ?s commitment to Queensland charity
  • Communicate the bank?s branding and services
  • Deliver business to the bank

Strategy One.

Spin Business Solutions devised a strategy to target the business community and meet BOQ?s objectives.The strategy incorporated:

  • Advertising
  • Direct Mail
  • Telephone Sales
  • Auction
  • Sponsorship
  • Promotion
  • PR
  • Leveraging charities


With only eight weeks to sell an event, advertising was crucial. No budget was provided so a media sponsorship with Nine Network was negotiated. The sponsorship provided the advertising element of the plan, running 60 CSA/Advertising spots. (Appendix A video tape & letter Pg. 20)

Direct Mail & Telephone Sales

Over 5000 invites were direct mailed, but with mail going out only six weeks prior to the event and we knew reaction time to the D.M. was limited, so a well-connected corporate telephone sales specialist was employed.

In addition BOQ?s employees supported the sales process by identifying key targets.


Apart from providing financial support for the event, sponsorship was critical to the overall communications plan. How?

  • Sponsorship with the Brisbane Convention Centre provided a secondary database. They also provided advertising on in house monitors and sent regular alerts via email and the Internet.
  • Australian Institute of Management?s sponsorship agreement allowed them to sell Giuliani?s book at the event and apart from cash had to promote the event to their Queensland database.
  • Nine. As previously mentioned, provided advertising, video production and a MC free of charge.


The auctions were the primary fundraising element of the lunch but also worked to attract attendees. The idea was to develop an auction with "money-can't buy" items. These items were then leveraged to generate media interest and to attract specific guests. For example, the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation targeted Foundation donated 2 pieces of art; loyalists who were particularly interested in this art attended purely for auction.


There were only four free tickets ever offered for this lunch. These were offered for auction at a high profile corporate charity event the week prior to promote the event.


The man billed as the man who worked against terrorists and struggled with an insurmountable crisis on September 11 was always going to attract significant media attention. We were, in fact, banking on it. The media coverage was significant. PR activity included:

  • Press releases
  • Pre interview opportunities
  • Targeting corporate gossip pages/columns

Leveraging Charities

The Charities selected had large databases, which represented another method of penetration into the Brisbane community.


Strategy Two.

The second strategy was to communicate BOQ?s key messages to Brisbane business community and use the event to gain exposure and drive business for the bank.

How was this achieved?

  • BOQ gained significant exposure of being involved with a highly visible corporate event.
  • Maximising every opportunity to brand and promote key messages on all marketing material related to the event. (Appendix A pg. 1)
  • Getting each of the banks own key management to host a table and entertained key clients to improve market penetration.
  • Using screens at the lunch to promote key messages.
  • BOQ?s Managing Director, David Liddy had a high profile throughout the lunch and spoke at the event.
  • Clearly positioned BOQ as the major supporter of the event.
  • Delivered "money can?t buy" and highly sort after auction items to significant money was raised. (Appendix A pg. 5-7)
  • Develop an incentive-driven raffle system to improve ticket sales. (Appendix A pg. 8)
  • Refer to the event as the BOQ Corporate Charity Event.
  • Attracted a significant slice of Brisbane?s business community.
  • Leveraged media opportunities including:
    • Radio stations also allowed to broadcast elements of Giuliani?s speech.
    • Negotiated with Nine to pool vision from the lunch with other networks.
    • BOQ hosted a press conference prior to the lunch with David Liddy (MD) & Rudi Giuliani.
    • Arranged from the Queensland Premier to also host his daily press conference at the event.





In only eight weeks Spin Business Solutions?

  • Coordinated nearly every aspect of the event.
  • The Charity Event remains the largest corporate lunch ever to be held in Brisbane (2340 attended) and was judged Brisbane?s corporate lunch of the year by The Courier Mail in 2003.
  • The lunch made a profit of $13,204. (Appendix D)
  • $180,000 was raised for BOQ?s preferred charities.
  • Almost $60,000 worth of media coverage was gained reaching an audience of 6,257,932. (Appendix A pg. 14-20)
  • Advertising valued at $106,455 and reaching an approximate audience of 7 million. (Appendix A Video & pg. 20)
  • $74,500 in cash sponsorship was raised.
  • Negotiated the speaker at 48% less the initial asking price.
  • BOQ deemed the event an enormous success, helping them expand their business-banking platform extensively and broadening brand recognition. In April 2004, the Bank announced a record net profit of $28.1 million for, an increase of 32% on the same period last year. This result was achieved by a doubling in business loan approvals (up 107%) and a 35% jump in deposit growth to $4.6 billion on the comparable first half of 2003.




BOQ?s goal to establish a business-banking platform was achieved beyond expectation. The event increased brand awareness and set the foundations for BOQ to be recognised as a major player within the Queensland and National banking sectors.

Objective: To extend business banking contacts

      • 2,340 business people attended the lunch
      • BOQ hosted over 150 current or potential clients
      • Key messages communicated including display, advertising, speeches and imagery on the day

Objective: To raise money for charity

      • $180,000 was raised plus each charity significantly benefited from the increased corporate exposure.

Objective: Organise sponsors and minimise cost

      • $80,000 in cash sponsorship funding was secured.
      • $300,000+ in support sponsorship

Objective: Leverage sponsorship opportunities

      • Met one of the world?s greatest leaders Rudy Giuliani at a private one-hour pre lunch function and photo line.
      • Promoted brand awareness with company logos appearing on table cards and in the form of electronic on-screen signage at a luncheon. (Appendix A pg. 1)
      • Verbal brand recognition and thanks through the MC.

Objective: Organise media sponsors, advertising and promotional opportunities

      • Nine Network provided $106,455 worth of advertising plus a high profile MC valued at $25,000

Objective: Organise a high calibre guest speaker + MC to act as drawcard

      • Rudy Giuliani, one of the world?s most prominent and powerful men.
      • Ray Martin, one of Australia?s leading television personalities

Objective: Organise "money can?t buy" auction and raffle items.

      • Over $180,000 was raised with items

Objective: Create public awareness

      • The event generated $60,000 in editorial coverage alone.