The Sunrise Appeal
In January 2018, The Sunrise Appeal approached us to help challenge a scheme put forward by NHS England which could see treatments for certain rarer cancers to be centralised in the UK. If the plans were approved, some Cornish patients would have to travel out of county for lifesaving cancer treatment. With the consultation only open for a further three weeks, The Sunrise Appeal decided to take immediate action – calling on Idenna to help capture the powerful reaction of the Cornish community to make a stand and have their voices heard.
It was immediately apparent that a powerful and forward-thinking digital marketing campaign would be the only way to reach a wide community in such a short timeframe. We prioritised film, photography, Facebook, Twitter and traditional PR to let as many people know about the NHS consultation and encourage them to complete an online survey to make their views known. We were reactive to the evolving nature of the story, using many different angles and adapting along the way to keep our aim as compelling as possible.
What happened next?
The main aim of the campaign was to encourage people to complete the online NHS Survey to oppose the proposed plans. There were 11,000 responses throughout the country, of which, over 10,500 came from Cornwall. This overwhelming response prompted NHS England to comment “Due to the high number of responses received, it will take some time to understand the different views put forward.”
– Posts from the Sunrise Appeal’s Facebook page had a reach of almost 1 million people (973,953), over 130,000 video views and over 5,000 comments
– Multi-platform news coverage: a front page in the Western Morning News, a feature on ITV Westcountry, ongoing coverage by Cornwall Live (Cornish Guardian/ West Briton), the Newquay Voice, BBC Radio Cornwall and Pirate FM.
– Laurence Reed, Presenter on BBC Radio Cornwall, dedicated an entire show to the campaign, identifying the story as the station’s most talked-about topic ever.
– Patron of The Sunrise Appeal and Co-Founder of the Eden Project, Sir Tim Smit, joined the campaign and expressed his concerns.
– Concerns with the consultation were raised in parliament by three of Cornwall’s local MPs, prompting Prime Minster Theresa May to urge the public to have their say on the matter, saying “I would encourage people to listen to the consultation and respond to the consultation so local views can truly be heard and taken into account.”
The Sunrise Centre and fellow campaigners are now awaiting an outcome, with NHS England making their recommendations later this year. After that, the Sunrise Appeal will either be able to celebrate, or will be rallying their supporters in another powerful digital marketing campaign to take the fight to the next stage.