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The importance of Pride – Liam Hackett, Ditch the Label

The importance of Pride – Liam Hackett, Ditch the Label

Liam hackett

By Liam Hackett, Ditch the Label

Pride season is upon us and now is a great time to reflect on why the celebrations are so important. The reason gay pride takes place in many cities across the world is for communities to unite to take a positive stand against homophobic attitudes within society.

In 1967, sexual acts between two men were decriminalised, so long as they were kept private. Just let that sink in for a second: 50 years ago, it was illegal to be gay – sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Following decriminalisation, there were still leaps and bounds to be made to tackle homophobia and discrimination of the LGBT community. At the time, just because it was legalised, did not mean that it was accepted.

The first Gay Pride parade in London was held in 1972 – with 2000 people in attendance. Since then, Pride celebrations have spread to cities across the world. Today, pride is an opportunity for LGBTQ+ people to come together, celebrate their identities and strive further forward towards a society free from prejudice.

LBGTQ+ rights have come a long way in more recent times, but let’s not forget that there are others who are still having to suppress their sexualities and gender identities because society does not accept them. Members of the LGBT+ community have endured decades of discrimination and abuse from every corner of society and still do today. Same sex relationships are still illegal in 74 countries across the world. 13 of those countries enforce the death penalty for the ‘crime’ of homosexuality. It is mind-boggling that in today’s society, a person can be killed for loving somebody.

We need LGBT+ communities and their allies to stand shoulder to shoulder in defiance of regressive behaviours and work together to encourage a shift in attitudes and change for the better. That’s why at Ditch the Label we live by these values:

  • We want to enjoy life in a society where eventually there is no need or expectation to ‘come out’ unless you choose to do so because it is universally understood that sexuality can be fluid and is not defined by the gender of the person you love. A society free of judgement.
  • We want to live in a world where it is safe to walk down the road holding the hand of the person you love…to openly show affection…to flirt…without having to look over your shoulder or ‘check’ your behaviour to make sure it is safe.
  • We want to live in a world where a person is defined not by their gender or sexuality, but by what’s inside their heads and their hearts.
  • We want a world where it is not only safe to be your true, authentic self, but embraced and celebrated.
  • We want to live in a world where equality prevails, and nobody is discriminated against because of who they fancy, the colour of their skin, where they were born, or what’s in their pants!
  • We want to thrive in a society where love prevails, not hate.

So, this pride, make sure you take a moment to reflect on the meaning behind the revelry. We can’t wait to see you there!

Pride campaigns of 2018

Image result for paddy power give £10,000

Paddy Power – can the team redeem themselves from the highly controversial World Cup Polar Bear stunt? It seems this creative hijack powerhouse is up for showing some Pride this summer – their new initiative will see them donate £10,000 to LGBT+ charities for every goal scored by Russia. Launched with what is possibly the best quote of all time in a press release: “Given they invented Russian Dolls, you’d be forgiven for thinking Russia wouldn’t have an issue with women being into other women.” Let’s hope they really will put their money where their mouth is…

Ditch the labelPHA client and anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label have once again teamed up with River Island for a stylish collaboration, this time celebrating Pride. The exclusive T-shirt range will help to raise funds for the charity which was started by CEO Liam Hackett after he was bullied for being gay. Grab yours while you can!

Bravo to Barclays who have returned as the main sponsor of Pride for the fifth year running. As well as supporting Pride financially, the bank also provides meeting spaces and support for community groups and their teams volunteer on parade day to assist with banking all the donations taken. For a full list of Pride events supported by Barclays look here.

Web giant Google is also getting in on the game. Its attempt to make spreadsheets fun truly paid off, after it released a secret hack to turn its Google Sheets rainbow themed if you type P R I D E into the top of 5 consecutive columns.Google sheets

Finally, Pride sponsors the AA have brought a bit of experiential activity to their support. To celebrate Pride, they have re-launched the #SpotThePrideVan competition. The campaign has prompted Twitter users to question whether the service is dumping its iconic yellow vans – but in fact, if you spot a rainbow van and share a pic with the AA, you could be in for a chance to win a prize!

Four estate agents who are leading the way in CSR

CSR has become one of the standard business practices of our time. Consumers now demand that companies start playing an active role in addressing social, cultural and environmental issues. For brands and companies who have embraced CSR, it has given them the opportunity to boost their brands reputation but also a chance to attract talent and retain staff.

Whether it’s where we decide to raise a family or a house which has been in the family for generations, homes will always have an emotional spot in our hearts. That’s why we’ve decided to look at the estate agents who are making it their responsibility to look after the communities and environments in the areas they operate in.

Foxtons

Whilst making it their mission to enable local communities to reach their full potential, they are also proud to support Veterans Aid. A charity which makes sure veterans in crisis receive vital care. Foxtons staff have also made it their duty that customers old and new, know about the app ‘Gone for Good’ which helps people donate their unwanted goods to local charities.

Foxtons have also looked to improve their environmental impact by ensuring all office lighting is low energy and that they are only in use during office hours. Foxtons support the charity WaterAid by supplying their offices with bottled Belu water. Belu water is made with environmentally friendly packaging who also donate 100% of their profits back to WaterAid.

Hamptons International

Supporting and raising vital funds for Cancer Research UK since 2013, Hamptons International has cycled, ran, and baked their way to raising over £200,000. Whilst partnering with the charity, Hamptons International have set up multiple donation stations across the UK. Transforming the items, you no longer need into funds for life-saving research, with 100% of the money going to Cancer Research UK.

One fundraising event ‘Relay Around the Regions’ which was a company-wide fundraiser, where 300 individuals from around the business travelled between their 85 branches using various modes of transport whilst passing on the baton. The campaign coincided with ‘Stand Up To Cancer’ and over 11 days, over £12,000 was raised for the charity.

Dexters

From consultants in training to experienced Directors, Dexters spend 10 times the industry average on training their people to ensure that they are up to date with the latest legislation. They actively encourage professional development for their staff to stand them in better stead later in life.

Dexters can also boast an overall gender breakdown of 50/50, and that 57% of manager and above roles in support are held by females. They have set themselves the target of by 2021 that over 50% of their manager and above fee earning roles are held by women.

Whilst expanding at a rapid rate through London, they are committed to finding new ways to reduce their carbon footprint, primarily through going paperless as much as possible.

Perry Bishop and Chambers

Perry Bishop and Chambers takes CSR seriously, so seriously in fact that they only employ staff who live near the towns in which their offices are located, their local knowledge being a special touch for vendors and buyers. The estate agents also look to engage local suppliers and refer business to other locally based companies. Continuously sponsoring events, sport clubs and schools throughout the year in the local community. Whilst also donating a certain percentage from every sold house to local charities.

If you would like to talk about how PR could maximise your business or how you could share your CSR story please get in touch with a member of our award-winning team today.

Mental Health Awareness Week

It won’t have escaped your notice that this week is Mental Health Awareness Week. It seems to us that this year more than ever before, corporates and charities alike are working hard to raise awareness of good mental health. Here’s our run-down of some of the best campaigns to engage with this MHAW:

The Mental Health Foundation is focusing the week on stress and has released statistics looking at stress in the workplace. It found that millennials felt more under pressure at work than baby boomers do – stating that working through stress was expected in their job. You can show your support for good mental health for all by ordering and wearing a green ribbon from the Mental Health Foundation.

Charity Mind has also chosen to focus on stress in the workplace. It encourages employers to create a stress awareness space, where staff can share their thoughts and feelings when they are feeling stressed through simple ‘when I’m stressed…’ cards. Luckily for us media folk, NABS is there to support anyone feeling stressed at work with a confidential helpline and events designed to help you boost your own personal mental health toolbox.

Rethink Mental Illness is well known for their hard-hitting campaigns. This MHAW, the charity is focusing on converting awareness into action and has given seven simple ways you can get involved to push for reform, fight stigma and campaign for change in the mental health space.

It’s not just charities getting in on the act. PHA client Xercise4Less has opened its doors for anyone to come and train for free throughout MHAW. The gym chain is aiming to raise awareness of mental health issues and promote exercise as a great way for improving mental health and decreasing stress.

Also, on the corporate charge, the Bauer Media group has launched a petition calling on the government to make it a requirement for every workplace or college to have a mental health work aider in the UK. The publisher’s research found that 90% of the public say they still feel there is a taboo around discussing mental health and 86% agree mental health is one of the biggest challenges facing the country today.

Finally – if you’d like to show your support for good mental health beyond this week, PHA Client anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label has recently launched Karma bands – simple accessories with lovely stress-busting slogans including ‘Breath’, ‘Fearless’ and ‘Ride the Wave’.

If you’re interested in learning more about how PR can help your charity stand out, get in touch with us today.

The charities to watch at the Virgin London Marathon

26.2 miles. The ultimate endurance event. There may be marathons all around the world, but The Virgin London Marathon is an event which inspires people across the globe to enter.

The Virgin London Marathon is a critical date in the calendar for charities. Whatever the cause might be, most of the runners who cross the start line come Sunday morning will be running for a cause or loved one.

We’d love to shout out all the amazing causes that are supported on the day but we thought we’d highlight ten who were particularly close to our hearts at PHA.

Dedicated to providing free cleft surgery and comprehensive care to children in need. Smile Train continues to campaign to give children new smiles, new beginnings and the opportunity for cleft children to live full and productive lives.

Most people in the UK have had cancer affect their lives in one way or another. Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading charity dedicated to research on the causes, treatment and prevention of cancer.

Rainbow Trust provides bespoke support for families who have a child with a serious illness. Offering the whole family support, regardless of diagnosis and are there for as long as a family needs them. Currently supporting almost 2,500 families in the UK, with more donations they support more families who desperately need it.

The MS Society is the UK’s leading multiple sclerosis charity, with the money raised from fundraising events such as Virgin London Marathon they can continue to invest in cutting-edge research and provide support to those affected by the condition.

Crohn’s & Colitis UK fight to achieve a better quality of life for over 300,000people in the UK suffering physically and emotionally from the disease alongside other forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

A charity dedicated completely to animals. Battersea aims to never turn away a dog or cat in need of help. Funds raised from charity events can help them to continue caring for them until loving new homes can be found, no matter how long it might take.

With around 700,000 people in the UK on the autism spectrum, together with their families, they make up around 2.8 million people whose lives are touched by autism daily. The NAS help to raise awareness and make the world a friendlier place for someone with autism.

The mental health charity making a difference. They make sure that no one has to face a mental health problem alone. They promise to not give up until everyone suffering a mental health problem gets the right support.

Continuing to lead the fight against the child abuse in the UK. The NSPCC help children who’ve been abused to rebuild their lives, they protect children at risk and find the best ways to prevent child abuse from ever happening in the first place.

The leading dementia charity in the UK, who provide information and support, improve care, fund research, and create lasting change for people affected by dementia.

 

Good luck to all the runners for this year’s marathon we’ll be cheering you on!

The best charity campaigns of 2017

2017 has been a year of challenges, transformation and triumphs for the charity sector. Well established not-for-profit organisations have had to compete with individual campaigners and corporates alike to get their message heard – and some of the results have been stunning. Here’s a quick look back at the campaigns that have had the PHA team talking this year.

 Storytelling with new technology – Tombohuaun Untapped, WaterAid

Photo by Madi Robson on Unsplash

A recent entry but one that I can’t stop thinking about. WaterAid has managed to create a connection between this PR in Soho and villagers in Tombohuauan, Sierra Leone – a village in desperate need of clean water and one at the heart of WaterAid’s Untapped appeal.

Anyone with an interest can explore Tombohuaun via a fact-filled 360 view of the village and waterhole and you can also interact with a chatbot which allows you to ‘speak’ to villager Sellu through Facebook messenger. But this is no guilt-trip – it’s informative and compelling personal storytelling. A quiz that allows you to be given your own village visitor nickname delivered via video by Matu delivers a deeper connection. It all helps supporters to feel at the centre of the storytelling and connect them to the campaign for clean water for all.

WaterAid’s Untapped Appeal will be doubled by the UK government until 31 January.

 https://www.wateraid.org/uk/tombohuaun-untapped

Crowdsourcing for creativity – The C-Word (I hate you c*****)

Isabella Lyttle’s family are raising funds for this brave 10-year-old who is battling cancer, so that she can access a clinical trial abroad to help her beat neuroblastoma.

The creative for Isabella’s fundraiser came about after her godmother posted on creative crowdsourcing site One Minute Briefs. The result is a video that at first shocks, with Isabella repeatedly saying the bleeped-out ‘c-word’, but it compels the viewer to watch to the end – driving home the importance of her plea. The video soon went viral and achieved widespread media interest: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/i-hate-you-cancer-stricken-11232320

Isabella and her family are also supported by Solving Kids Cancer, so supporters can donate via the charity’s text to donate line or fundraising team, or through JustGiving. To date, the family has raised just over £27,000.

 

Battling taboos – Know your lemons, Worldwide Breast Cancer  

Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash

If you cast your mind back to January, you’re bound to recall the social media storm that gave a much-celebrated spotlight to designer and charity founder Corrine Beaumont’s campaign to #KnowYourLemons.

Corrine’s image of 12 lemons in an egg box, each depicting different possible breast cancer symptoms in a simple way spoke a universal truth – women all around the world need to know more about spotting the signs. The image has now been seen on social media by 200 million people in 2017. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38609625

 

Dominating an anniversary – SSAFA Women 100

We had a great debate about whether a campaign we personally worked on should make this list – but we couldn’t post this blog without the inclusion of SSAFA’s Women 100.

July this year marked the centenary of the formation of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC). We all know that any major anniversary will attract attention from multiple charities with something to celebrate, but SSAFA’s Women 100 campaign managed to dominate the media space through visual storytelling at its best. Our team worked with SSAFA and renowned war photographer Robert Wilson to create an iconic image which showcased the evolution of women in service over the last century. The stunning image celebrated serving women and veterans with a huge range of roles from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Airforce, including Olympic gold medalists Dame Kelly Holmes and Heather Stanning OBE.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4658958/Images-mark-100-years-women-Armed-Forces.html

 

Corporate powered campaign – Sky Ocean Rescue

Photo by Paul Morris on Unsplash

Sky set up this campaign to save the ocean from plastic long before we were all tearing up at Blue Planet II. Using its global reach to tackle a global issue, Sky regularly covers associated stories on its news channels, reports successes (such as Coco-Cola dropping opposition Deposit Return Schemes in Scotland), has made its own documentary and provides advice for consumers on how to reduce their own personal plastic use.

Never before has this topic needed the limelight more. As Sky tells us – ‘Every minute, the equivalent of a rubbish truckload of plastic goes in to our oceans, it never decomposes and will remain there forever.’ https://news.sky.com/feature/sky-ocean-rescue-10734494