As part of Aspire’s pledge to build a PR agency with purpose, we supported Cyclists Fighting Cancer to raise awareness and drive donations for its epic John O’Groats – Land’s End cycle challenge. Our goal was to spread the word in national and regional media and help the charity hit its fundraising target of £20,000.
Making a positive difference
Everyone at Aspire believes in doing our bit to make a positive contribution to the world we live in, and support causes close to our hearts.
So, when Cyclists Fighting Cancer (CFC) asked us to help the charity hit a fundraising target of £20,000 for its John O’Groats – Land’s End (JOGLE) challenge, we didn’t need to think twice to offer our specialist PR services.
CFC was founded in 2005 to give new lightweight bikes, tandems and specially adapted trikes to children and young people living with cancer.
We had a tight timeline of just one month to generate buzz for the event, but we had a good story to hit the headlines.
The cycling challenge was a Guinness World Record attempt by 14 riders to pedal from John O’Groats to Land’s End in just 7 days – on a 7-seater conference bike. The previous record had been set in 2010 by a team of 194 riders and took 28 days.
We were ready to spring into action and play our part.
“It’s not every day you see a weird contraption like the seven-seater conference bike that appeared in Wick on Sunday but on John O’Groats to Land’s End (Jogle) charity treks everything is possible”
Raising awareness of a remarkable feat
Working to a tight timeline, we needed to be proactive to generate attention-grabbing coverage and mindful of the needs of the riders so they could focus on their challenge.
Aspire initially concentrated efforts on the start of the challenge, to raise awareness of the riders’ forthcoming feat and drive donations to their JustGiving page.
We pitched for regional interviews in major UK cities and towns along the JOGLE route. However, as the riders were cycling 24 hours a day, and through the night, we had to adjust our focus and identified the finish line as a key moment in the campaign.
Aspire rapidly pivoted and, within a week, identified and secured a local photography agency to capture the world breaking moment on the finish line at Land’s End, to sell in as a picture story to the nationals.
We also created a news release to spread the word to the national, charity, and cycling press, with PA media syndicating the release to 40+ online regional and national outlets, including The Independent, Daily Express, and Mail Online.
Having pinpointed the finish line as a key opportunity for a picture story, we used the images to sell-in a media alert to national press titles. PA Media syndicated the story to over 150+ regional outlets (online and in print), with national coverage running in The Times, The Scotsman, and The Herald.
Capturing national attention
fundraising target for the challenge
pieces of media coverage secured
specially adapted bikes funded by the ride
Delivering amazing benefits
Aspire secured over 200 pieces of coverage about the JOGLE challenge, with donations consequently increasing from £3,000 ahead of the challenge, to over £20,000 upon completion.
The wider pick up of the media alert highlighted how strong imagery can bolster the appeal of a news story, in place of interview time.
Every £500 donated to Cyclists Fighting Cancer, delivers 1 lightweight specially adapted bike, trike or tandem to a child living with cancer, allowing a child to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of movement in a low impact, fun, and sociable way.
Aspire is proud to have supported the fundraisers’ impressive efforts and to have raised the awareness to fund 40 bikes.
Having successfully completed the JOGLE challenge campaign, we will now work to raise awareness of the charity and its mission more broadly, shining a light on the brilliant work the organisation does to support children living with and beyond cancer around the UK.