Over the past few years, Bakers Delight has embarked on a community engagement initiative to support its Easter Hot Cross Bun campaign and raise the profile of our bakeries in the local community. The campaign began in Western Australia eleven years ago with bakeries donating $1 from each six pack of Hot Cross Buns sold on a certain day to the local Princess Margaret Hospital. This proved so successful that the campaign has gradually been rolled out to incorporate all states.
The aim of the campaign is to drive sales of the Hot Cross Bun product on Saturday 20 March (Bundraiser Day) and subsequently raise money for the hospitals, as well as raising the profile of all 630 bakeries in communities across Australia.
Keep Left PR developed a strategic multifaceted campaign that was rolled out utilising all media avenues – online, print, TV and radio. The campaign resulted in 136 pieces of media coverage, reaching over 5.5 million people and raised over $123,000 for sick children across the country.
This is the second year that the Bundraiser campaign was executed nationally and the requirement was to build upon the success and raise the profile of the fundraising campaign by exploring new media opportunities. The target hospitals were:
• Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation (NSW/ACT)
• Royal Children’s Hospital, Good Friday Appeal (VIC)
• Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation (QLD)
• Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation (WA)
• Women and Children’s Hospital Foundation (SA)
• Royal Hobart Hospital (TAS)
• Royal Darwin Hospital (NT)
The PR campaign promoted Bakers Delight’s range of Hot Cross Buns while communicating the community engagement program.
The challenge was a lack of new news from a product perspective – the new softer Hot Cross Bun recipe the focus.
For the community engagement element, the challenge was to make the story relevant for local newspapers for the second year running.
A targeted media outreach approach was required to fully leverage a range of mediums.
The media is constantly changing and magazine formats evolve regularly, therefore it was essential to ensure that all opportunities in women’s lifestyle, food and health publications were relevant. As the campaign had two focuses - a product-led story for food pages, general news opportunities and diary pages saving the date - it was critical to ensure media contacts were up to date.
With the metro media, it was recommended to focus the story around a case study of a child in each of the states as news journalists are receptive to human interest stories. Therefore it was essential to work closely with the hospital to identify a relevant child that has benefited or would benefit from the medical equipment the Bakers Delight fundraising would provide.
For the local media outreach, extensive research was conducted on all the local newspapers across the country that covered the areas where Bakers Delight bakeries were located, which included over 380 local and regional newspapers.
This year a blogger outreach campaign was also executed. In order for this activity to be effective research was required into the relevant audiences (key grocery buyer, female consumers aged 25 – 45) and how they interact online. It was found that the most appropriate targets were food, lifestyle and parenting blogs and online forums. Keep Left PR then focused on directly analysing these target websites in order to develop a planned approach.
All customer segments and local communities.
Core target audience, female grocery buyer 24 – 54.
In developing the strategic approach for this campaign, it was essential to take on board learnings from previous years, the campaign objectives and media research conducted.
• Work with hospitals to pinpoint a face of the campaign for each state.
The media releases needed to lead with the story around the child to ensure relevance and interest of target journalists.
• Segment media targets and tailor content of the story according to media lead times and requirements.
For women’s lifestyle, food and health magazines this required developing two different media releases, one focused on the product and new softer recipe and the other highlighting the Bundraiser Day for diary date pages.
• Offer a selection of relevant images for local media focusing on the child case study.
Providing Bakers Delight supplied photography for local media with a story focused on the community engagement aspect of the campaign.
• Engage online communities with the Bakers Delight Hot Cross Bun product through a relevant and interesting competition mechanism.
Focus on a targeted list of food and lifestyle bloggers and online forums and provide each with a competition to write about the product and reference the community campaign.
As this campaign had a range of different activities and stakeholders, a strategic plan and timeline outlining key roles and responsibilities was essential.
Stage 1: Planning and preparation for launch
Messaging: Message planning was crucial as it had to be tailored not only for the media outlet but to meet specific communications objectives. Keep Left PR produced a range of messages for the product focused and community focused media opportunities.
Collateral development: Following approval of the messages, the media releases for each level of the outreach were developed, this included:
• Save the date focused release for women’s glossy magazine diary date pages
• Product focused release for women’s glossy magazine food pages
• News story that heroed the case study from each hospital for metro media
• Community engagement driven story for local and regional press
Online engagement: The final aspect was planning the blogger/online engagement strategy. Following the research, Keep Left PR found food bloggers were responsive to creative challenges and so were asked to develop a dessert recipe using Bakers Delight hot cross buns and post it on their blog. There was a reward for the most creative. For the online forums the planned approach was to offer a selection of giveaways to engage the audiences and drive trial of the new recipe of hot cross buns and encourage feedback.
Stakeholder engagement: The communications team at Bakers Delight managed the stakeholder communication with all seven hospitals in each major metro city across the country. This involved:
• Securing hospital partnerships and engagement.
• Promoting the partnership at the hospital through distribution of product and internal communications such as viral and online marketing.
• Finalising the details of the needed equipment to benefit children.
• Working with personnel at the hospital to identify a child and head of the department/hospital to serve as a focus of the media materials and organising photography.
Stage 2: Media outreach
Long-lead distribution: Outreach began in December 2009 as Keep Left PR targeted long-lead monthly women’s interest and lifestyle magazines with information about the ‘Bundraiser Day’ and the new softer recipe product release. It was essential that this communication was followed up in early 2010 to maximise on any additional opportunities in the online versions of these publications.
Mid-lead distribution: Weekly glossy magazines and newspaper supplements were reached in February 2010 with messages around the community activity for diary date opportunities and information about the new product recipe for food pages.
Online engagement: Keep Left PR managed the blogger engagement activity that began outreach in February. The bloggers were invited to complete the challenge, where a winner would be picked to win an Easter hamper and the opportunity to write a guest blog on the Bakers Delight website.
Metro targets: Metro broadcast media were targeted, with weather cross pitches for the Friday before the fundraising day. A product drop also occurred with metro radio stations to encourage on-air chatter in the lead up to Bundraiser Day. Metro newspapers were targeted three weeks prior to the campaign to pitch photo opportunities and the child case studies in time for pre-promotion of Bundraiser Day.
Local media: Bakers Delight head office managed the local and regional media outreach, which involved tailored pitching and photo opportunities.
In total, 136 pieces of coverage were achieved, reaching over 5.5 million people with messages that were particularly effective in raising the profile of Bakers Delight bakeries in local communities and raising thousands of dollars for local children’s hospitals. The Easter campaign received an excellent response from media, with 100 per cent of all coverage being positive in tone.
Seven bloggers participated in the campaign in their own way – completing the recipe challenge, doing a Hot Cross Bun review, posting something about Bundraiser Day, doing a competition on their blog for subscribers. Coverage also appeared in the online forum, essentialbaby.com.au.
Magic 693 promoted Bundraiser Day, and Light FM and 4ZZZ both conducted interviews and ran stories on the initiative as part of their news. The Hot Cross Buns were mentioned on Fox FM (VIC), 5AA (SA) and Triple M Breakfast show (NSW).
Hot Cross Bun mentions or product reviews appeared in metro newspapers including Herald Sun, The Age, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph and Adelaide Advertiser. Bundraiser Day coverage appeared in Northern Territory News, Gold Coast Bulletin and Canberra Times.
A full page of coverage was secured in Woman’s Day following an added value opportunity to provide readers one free Hot Cross Bun coupon with the purchase of the magazine.
The main goal of this campaign was to drive sales of Hot Cross Buns in Bakers Delight bakeries on ‘Bundraiser Day’ (Saturday, March 20). Over the campaign period Bakers Delight sold over X hot cross buns and raised $123,000 for local hospitals.
In terms of meeting the measurable objectives the campaign more than surpassed what it set out to achieve:
• Incremental sales growth of $300,000
The sales growth surpassed at $353,933
• Hot Cross Bun % of total sales to exceed 20%
Total Hot Cross Bun sales accounted for 21.08% of total sales.
With regards to the communication objective:
• Reach a broad consumer audience with information about the new softer recipe for the Hot Cross Buns via consumer media and bloggers
Sixteen per cent of the coverage was secured focused on the products, which was a strong result considering that there was no new news. This was also the highest reaching coverage as majority was online and in metro newspapers and women’s lifestyle magazines.
• Raise awareness about the Bundraiser Day within local media newspapers
By far the highest volume of media coverage for the campaign with 90 per cent of the print media coverage appeared in regional and suburban newspapers. As with last year, local newspapers expressed great interest and an abundant amount of bakeries getting involved in photo opps and interviews.