Earlier this year we started working with ornithologist, broadcaster and “Urban Birder” David Lindo.
After discovering Britain is one of the few countries in the world not to have its own national bird (America has the Bald Eagle, Sweden the common Blackbird and India has the Peacock), David launched a campaign to get Britain voting. He chose Bullet PR as the PR agency to bring his campaign to the public attention. The Vote Britain’s National Bird Campaign was to run in tandem with the Election Campaign with voting closing on the same day, May 7th.
Bullet PR launched the campaign to the media on March 16th, lining up a busy schedule of press, TV and radio interviews for David Lindo which included the Today programme and The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on R2 and coverage on radio news programmes such as BBC 6 Music’s Breakfast Show, Radio 5 Live and BBC Robert Elms. The launch of the campaign had fantastic coverage in every national newspaper including the front page of The Independent, The Daily Mail, Mirror, Express, The Times, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Evening Standard and countless regional papers. The story even appeared in the New York Times and the Times of India.
Consumer magazine coverage included The Lady, Country Life, Country Living, Bird Watching Magazine, BBC Wildlife Magazine, Waitrose Weekend, Emerald Street, Gizmodo, Wired, ITV.com, Shortlist, the Huffington Post to name but a few, whilst the BBC reported the shortlisted birds as tweets in Tweet of the Day.
The election campaign really captured people’s imagination – causing furious national debate from the water coolers of the UK’s offices to the corridors of Westminster. Some well known celebrities were also out canvassing on behalf of their favourite birds.
Jamie Oliver: “Get the Bird Vote cooking and vote for the Swan”
Chris Packham (TV wildlife presenter): ‘Wrens and Robins are great but the Hen Harrier as our National Bird would really make a difference.’
Other celebrities lending their voice included Jarvis Cocker, Caitlin Moran, Alan Titchmarsh, Jilly Cooper, Sir Andrew Motion and many more.
The success of the launch day PR resulted in over 100,000 people voting for the shortlisted birds. One of the challenges for Bullet PR was finding a way to keep the campaign regularly in the media in order to maintain interest and keep the public voting. Strategy included seeding out celebrity vote information and pitching travel media for features on the best places to find the shortlisted birds.
Ten days before voting closed David Lindo went on the campaign trail in a vintage Rolls Royce, done up in bird livery. David visited schools, key London tourist attractions and wetlands centres, providing another opportunity for us to galvanise the media. BBC Breakfast followed David on his campaign trail and broadcast their film on Election Day itself! Other media also covered the “alternative election” including Sky News and Jarvis Cocker’s 6 music show.
By the time the results of Britain’s National Bird Vote were announced (exclusively on BBC SpringWatch Unsprung) on June 10th, a staggering 224,438 members of the British public have cast their votes to decide which bird was to crowned Britain’s National Bird.
The announcement once more made headlines in the British media. BBC Breakfast broadcast live from the BBC Wetlands Centre interviewing David Lindo several times that morning. The Today Programme, BBC 2 Chris Evans Breakfast Show, Sky News Sunrise programme, ITV News, BBC lunchtime news, Channel 5 news, BBC London, and countless regional stations interviewed David on the morning of the announcement and there was blanket coverage in the national newspapers.
Bullet PR achieved over 1000 items of media coverage for Britain’s Vote National Bird campaign.