In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Give Up Clothes for Good campaign, TK Maxx and Cancer Research UK are hosting an exclusive exhibition of works by world famous photographer Jason Bell. I arrived at the Pall Mall Galleria and was proud to see my PR campaign from 2014s Give Up Clothes for Good campaign on display.
Give Up Clothes For Good encourages donating your old clothes to raise money for children’s cancers.
Launched in 2004, Give Up Clothes For Good is a biannual campaign based on encouraging people to clear out their wardrobes and donate quality unwanted clothes and household items to raise money for the treatment and cure of childhood cancers. The donated items are collected from TK Maxx stores and later sold across the network of CRUK stores.
I needed to come up with a witty and motivating call to action that encouraged the whole nation to take part in the biggest clothes collection ever. We took the double meaning of ‘Give Up Clothes For Good’ to suggest we all go naked for a good cause. A simple proposition that would guarantee stand out across all media. In order to engage the public and ensure extensive coverage, we set about contacting a host of celebrities to pose for some very tasteful and modest, naked themed shots, playing on the campaign strapline ‘Bare as you Dare’. Celebrities including Jade Jagger, Bruno Tonioli, Liz McLarnon, Sol Campbell, Lucy Benjamin, Julia Bradbury, James Anderson, Christopher Biggins, Kate Walsh all ‘dared to bare’ For the cameras in aid of raising valuable funds for charity and encourage the public to
strip their wardrobes bare too.
Whilst I was confident that images of naked celebrities shot by renowned celebrity photographer Jason Bell would provide us with a compelling news pictures, we also felt that the campaign project merited a pre awareness launch and a series of regional launches around the country that would serve to maximize awareness.
During the pre awareness stage TK Maxx, HomeSense and Cancer Research UK teamed up with online auction site eBay for a celebrity clothing auction. I set about contacting celebrities – Sharon Osbourne, Duffy, David Walliams, Jade Jagger, Tyra Banks, Nicky Hilton, Rupert Grint, Leighton Meester and the Duchess of York are just some of the celebrities who pledged an item. The team got busy selling in to fashion bloggers, showbiz desks and celebrity titles.
A week before the media launch day on April 6th the celebrity images were seeded with Press Association and Heat magazine offered the magazine exclusive. Over the Easter bank holiday weekend, the national picture desks and showbiz desks were spoken to in order to ensure the messaging and campaign credits were correct. National and regional sites were targeted, as well as relevant fashion blogs, entertainment and lifestyle outlets. encourage bag drops.
Local celebrities across six key regions with high regional media density also helped drive awareness. Regional photo-calls took place on launch day with local talent wearing a large Give Up Clothes For Good bag including Paul Potts in Cardiff, TV presenter Amanda Hamilton in Edinburgh, Ex Gladiator in Leeds, BBC Midlands presenter Suzanne Virdee in Birmingham and Orlaith McCallister in Belfast, as well as a photocall in Southampton. The team got busy selling in the pictures to regional targets. Inorder to target the fashion press, we worked with Jade Jagger who carried out interviews for Stylist and Stella. In addition we secured interviews with Bruno Tonilio in OK Magazine, Kate Walsh in Closer.
To keep the momentum going throughout the three week campaign and to encourage bag donations we scheduled regional activity during this time, including ‘naked’ radio drops using two naturists from Living’s ‘Four Weddings’ Fame in the final week.
TK Maxx, HomeSense and CRUK have smashed the 2008 till point donations revealing £258,097.65 worth of donations.
On Monday 5th April, the pictures and press release were issued under embargo to all national and regional newspapers and all major online outlets, supported by an aggressive call round.
The following morning I had secured newspaper coverage within The Sun, Daily Mirror, Metro, Daily Record, Daily Star, Daily Mail, The Times, Daily Telegraph.
The story was also successful in reaching newspaper websites including The Sun Online, Daily Mirror Online, Metro Online, Daily Mail Online, and The Daily Telegraph Online, as well as a fully credited.
Other key outlets secured include BBC Entertainment News, Sky News, Yahoo! and MSN, all crediting TK Maxx, HomeSense and Cancer Research UK. Online coverage continued to mount throughout the day, with stories appearing on online outlets.
The campaign became part of the ‘naked’ zeitgeist and discussions on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and articles in the Evening Standard ‘Naked London’ affiliated TK Maxx and CR-UK with the story. As well as TV presenter Kate Walsh talking about the campaign on Live At Studio Five and Liz McClarnon on The Wright Stuff.
Connor PR working with Middlechild Productions on a TV exclusive – Hercules The Human Bear, Channel Five
HERCULES THE HUMAN BEAR
“Human beings differ to animals only in degree and not in kind”
Charles Darwin, Descent of Man
TX: Channel 5, Thursday April 3rd, 9pm, 2014
Produced by Middlechild Productions
Hercules the Human Bear tells the amazing story of Andy and Maggie Robin and their relationship with a grizzly bear that became the most famous animal in the world. A bear that was bought as a cub from a Scottish zoo for £50 in 1976 and lived in Andy and Maggie’s home for 25 years. Hercules grew to be a superstar on the celebrity circuit and through the love and devotion of Andy and Maggie, in their eyes, became human.
In 1976 Andy and Maggie bought a grizzly bear cub from a local zoo, initially to fulfil Andy’s need for a unique wrestling partner. Little did they know at the time that Hercules, the tiny bear cub, would become the worlds’ most famous bear and make them a fortune in the process.
Hercules the Human Bear focuses on the unique relationship that Andy, Maggie and Hercules forged during their 25 years together. With interviews from Andy and Maggie as well as all the key contributors to their story, the documentary reveals the unique story of how Andy and Maggie managed to live under the same roof as the world’s most dangerous land mammal.
Extraordinary archive film footage reveals Hercules adapting to his new surroundings at the Sheriffmuir Inn and learning to wrestle with Andy, without killing him in the process, to the heart stopping moment he went missing in the Outer Hebrides where the hunt for Hercules turned into National and International news. We see how Hercules begins his road to stardom in adverts for products such as Kleenex and Hofmeister Beer, to how his fame got greater and greater to star in films such as James Bond’s Octopussy, making the front cover of Time magazine and even how he caddied for Bob Hope at a golf tournament. Concluding with a trip to the Outer Hebrides where a life-sized statue of Hercules is unveiled and hearing how Hercules touched the lives of many.
World Champion wrestler, Andy Robin, had performed a wrestling bout in Canada with a feared local wrestler – an 8ft black bear called Terrible Ted. The sheer power and strength of the animal shocked and amazed Andy and he began to admire Ted’s natural wrestling ability. The fight lasted only 20 minutes but Andy was hooked. He wanted a bear of his own no matter what the cost.
Combining the testimony of all the key participants, newly-discovered archival film and dramatic imagery, this is the picaresque story of one grizzly bear’s extraordinary journey through human life and the enduring impact he made on the characters he met along the way.
The anthropomorphism (attribution of human characteristics to anything other than a human being) of animals is centuries old and bears in particular have taken on a unique status in our hearts – from Winnie the Poo, Rupert, Yogi and Paddington Bear in children’s fiction to the use of real bears in television series such as Gentle Ben.
Hercules’ story was the ultimate nature versus nurture tale. With no formal animal training, Andy and Maggie Robin allowed a 9-foot 70-stone grizzly bear to share every inch of their lives, from the house they owned to the food they ate. If the experiment were successful they would go on the most amazing fairy tale of a journey, but if it went wrong, like so many times before and since, they would most probably end up dead, mauled to death by the most deadly land carnivore in the world.
The story of wild nature bending to human kindness and understanding, is a genre whose popularity reflects a yearning for an idealised relationship with nature – one that, even having outgrown the fantasies of childhood, we find it hard to shake off.
Hercules The Human Bear is the embodiment of this call of nature. It’s a unique success story where many have failed; it could well be the ultimate example of nurture overcoming nature.
David Sumnall, Director said: “This is a once in a lifetime story. Sharing your life with a Grizzly Bear like Andy and Maggie did will never be done again. They managed to form a completely unique bond with a very special bear. This was largely thanks to Hercules and Maggies’ incredible nature and the fact that Andy was as much a bear as Hercules was human! For anyone who loves their pets, and thinks they might have some ‘human’ in them – this is a must watch.”
For all media enquiries, please contact Siobhan at Connor PR. firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 07966 177025
Andy and Maggie Robin are available for interview.
Preview discs are available on request.
Notes to editors:
Middlechild Productions is a genuinely independent production company based in London. We specialise in ambitious, factual programmes produced with passion and to the highest standard.
Creative Director – David Sumnall
David set up Middlechild in 2008 with the help of a development deal from Channel 4’s factual and documentary departments. Prior to setting up Middlechild, David developed, directed and produced a variety of programmes for all the major broadcasters including Jonny’s Hotshot’s for BBC1; Engineering Giants for BBC2; Animal Addicts for Channel Four; Victoria Cross Heroes for Five and Football Years for Sky One.
David also recently co-produced the feature film Cleanskin starring Sean Bean for Warner Brothers.
Director of Production – Paul Goodliffe
Paul Goodliffe has over 20 years in Television Production management . He has been Director of Production for Sky Entertainment overseeing SKY’s production teams and outside contractors to manage their multi-million pound production outlay across a variety of formats. In addition, he has also held senior managerial positions at Virgin Media and Channel Five.
Connor PR and Hercules the Human Bear, Connor PR working with Middlechild Productions, Connor PR expert in TV publicity, Media and entertainment specialist Connor PR
Publishing specialist Connor PR started working with Kay Rink, author of Managing MIL: You and your Mother-in-Law – for better, or for worse?
Essential reading for Daughters-in-Law, Peridot Press in October 2013
Here’s some of the press we achieved…still more to come out in January!
Independent online – lifestyle
December 23rd, talking about the stresses of Christmas
TV – The Daily Edition – Australia
BBC World Service
The Women’s Room Blog
Connor PR specialist in expert PR, Connor PR specialist in book and publishing PR, Connor PR specialist in entertainment PR
Connor PR working with Paramount Pictures, in association with Empire Film Distribution on The Reef 2:High Tide, the stunning new animation film
The following celebrities attended a celebrity screening of the brand new animation film The Reef 2: High Tide at The Soho Hotel from Paramount Pictures, in association with Empire Film Distribution. The event was organised by Connor PR, specialists in event PR.
Gillian McKeith and her daughters, Skylar and Afton. Patsy Palmer and her children Fenton, Emilia and Bertie. Jessie Wallace and her daughter Tallulah. Carrie Grant and family. Towie star Billi Mucklow and her nephew. Maisie Smith (Tiffany in EastEnders). Devon Higgs (Morgan in EastEnders). Kevin Adams, Charlie Brooks and her daughter Kiki.
The Stunning New Animation Film by Director Mark A.Z. Dippe, starring Drake Bell, Fran Drescher, Andy Dick and Frankie Jonas
With fast paced action, striking CGI animation and vibrant characters, this is the ultimate feel good animation film, perfect for all the family
Connor PR working with Middlechild and GroupM Entertainment production on a new programme for Channel 5 ‘ The Dog Rescuers’
The Dog Rescuers
Coming soon to Channel 5, “The Dog Rescuers” a Middlechild and GroupM Entertainment production that follows the canine rescue work of the RSPCA across England and Wales.
With over 1.3 million reports of cruelty and mistreatment of animals made to the RSPCA every year, the charity is under increasing pressure to safeguard our nation’s pets from the constant threat of abusive owners and unscrupulous breeders. This series follows those inspectors and officers that deal with ensuring man’s best friend is being properly treated. Using the latest forensic technologies and good old fashioned leg work, the series follows the RSPCA inspectors as they track down and rescue some of the 150,000 animals which are abused and mistreated in the UK every year, and witnesses the struggle to rehabilitate the victimised animals and to prosecute the offenders.
Channel 5 gained access to a selected group of the RSPCA’s 350 inspectors across the country for four months, and our cameras followed inspectors investigating crimes of abuse against dogs and puppies in rural areas and inner cities, as poor living conditions, malnutrition, illegal mass-breeding, organised fights are eradicated all in the aid of saving dogs’ lives.
Despite the sometimes horrific findings, the 10 x 30’ series has positivity at its heart as it will also follow some of the RSPCA’s success stories as they seek to rehabilitate and eventually rehouse some of the 12,000 dogs which the charity rehomes every year.
David Sumnall, Series Producer commented: “We are a nation of dog lovers but over 50% of RSPCA’s prosecutions last year were for cases involving abuse to dogs, so I think this is a really important series. We’ve been able to highlight the plight of these animals and show the incredible work that is being done to rescue and rehome them. It has been tough to witness the neglect at times but to be there as the dogs and puppies are saved and to see them with their new families has made it all worth it.”
Greg Barnett, Commissioning Editor, Entertainment, Daytime & Soaps said: “This series will have a tremendous impact on all those that watch. Some of the circumstances and conditions in which the RSPCA inspectors find dogs is unbelievably horrible. We’re trying to get as many dogs rehoused in loving homes as possible across the series run, putting the heart back into having a family pet and thereby giving four legged friends in need a second chance”
Alan Laxton, RSPCA Broadcast Executive:
The RSPCA rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes thousands of dogs a year across England and Wales. It’s great that The Dog Rescuers gives audiences the chance to see the dedication, hard work and passion all RSPCA staff have for making the lives of these dogs better. Some of the stories can be shocking, but The Dog Rescuers also shows the heart warming, happy endings that the RSPCA strives to give to every dog that comes into our care.
More than 70 people attended the ‘Look Fab, Feel Fantastic’ event porganised by Connor PR, specialist in lifestyle and beauty PR which was held at the Lion Hotel, Shrewsbury in aid of the Severn Hospice.
Guests were treated to Pimms, summer punch and a selection of delicious canapés as they perused the Adam Ballroom where expert advice was on offer from a number of healthcare professionals.
Mr Stewart Good, Consultant at Cedar House Clinic and Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) talked to guests about surgical and non surgical cosmetic treatments such as, anti-wrinkle injectables, dermal fillers, fat removal with skin tightening, cellulite removal, and facial laser rejuvenation.
Jo Bregazzi-Udakis, a Permanent Cosmetic and Medical Tattooing Specialist Nurse of Creative Enhancement was on hand to discuss the long lasting and striking effects that her up-to-date Semi-Permanent Makeup techniques can achieve, using high quality pigments giving you sparkling eyes that can take 5-10 years off your looks. Jo also advised guests on how her Semi-Permanent Makeup can increase your self-confidence through camouflaging surgical scars, hair loss, vitiligo and reconstruction of nipples and areolas after mastectomy surgery.
Specialist hypnotherapist and Registered Nurse, Maria Fielding whose expertise is in Hypnosis for Behavioural Change offered advice on dealing with Anxiety, Motivation, Confidence, Presentation/Exam Nerves, Phobias & other Irrational Fears, Weight loss & Hypnotic Gastric Band and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and many other issues.
Acupuncturist, Bronwen Lloyd-Hughes talked to guests on the wide range of treatments that she is able to offer using traditional acupuncture techniques She regularly treats clearly defined complains such as neck, back and knee pain through to more general feelings of ill health such as nausea, low energy and stress related problems.
Guests were also able to experience the fast acting benefits of ‘Remedial Massage’, easing away those aches and pains you may have developed after the long cold winter of driving your car instead of walking or sitting for long periods of time in your office or at home. Steve Udakis, a Sport and Remedial Massage Therapist, demonstrated and advised on posture correction, exercise techniques, trigger points (knots in the muscles) and how they can cause increasing chronic pain and minimise movement in the joints if untreated.
Jo Bregazzi-Udakis, from Creative Enhancement said: “We are delighted to have hosted the evening and would like to thank everyone who joined us and helped to raise £300 for the Severn Hospice. It means a great deal to me to help local charities whilst at the same time showing people how we can help to increase their self confidence with our high quality treatments”.
Creative Enhancement plan to host more of these events in 2013 so keep your eyes peeled for more information.
Please contact Siobhan at Connor PR Siobhan@connorpr.com Tel 07966177025
The HBO Pacific Launch event was organised by Siobhan Connor whilst she was working with Taylor Herring:
In November 2010, HBO released The Pacific TV show on DVD and we wanted a launch party that would really stand out and set HBO apart. Siobhan planned an incredible launch party on the HMS Belfast that included a press junket in the day time and a 1940s themed event in the evening. Siobhan’s planning was exemplary, her calm approach filled us with confidence and she delivered an outstanding event that many of our retailers and journalists said was the best entertainment event they had been to all year. Needless to say, I would highly recommend Siobhan and personally, I can’t wait to work on the next project with her!
Marketing Director, HBO