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Freshwater in the running for Public Affairs Awards win with #WhatTheFox?

Freshwater UK’s What The Fox? campaign with the League Against Cruel Sports has been shortlisted in the Best In-House Agency Collaboration category for the UK-wide Public Affairs Awards 2014.

Group managing director, Angharad Neagle, said: “We’re really excited to be shortlisted for the In-House Agency Collaboration category as this reflects what Freshwater’s all about – working closely with clients to deliver results with real impact.

What The Fox? is a particularly important one for us as it demonstrates a ‘best teams’ approach, taking advantage of our expertise across both our London and Cardiff offices, while also highlighting the full spectrum of communications services we provide. 

“Above all, it delivered real, tangible results that show the difference that a cohesive and multi-channel campaign can make.”

Ahead of the results being announced, sneak a peek at what this integrated campaign was all about, and how Freshwater got parliament talking and the masses asking #WhatTheFox?

In brief

Back in 2004, the Hunting Act was passed, making hunting with dogs for sport illegal in England and Wales.

But earlier this year, The Federation of Welsh Farmers’ Packs and the Countryside Alliance were pushing for an amendment to the Act that would allow a full pack of hounds to draw out a fox to a waiting gun; an amendment that the League believed would bring back hunting ‘via the back door’.

It was being sold as a development to ‘help farmers’. On 1st March, Freshwater was commissioned by the League to prevent this amendment being made through a Statutory Instrument. This type of legislation used to push minor changes through Parliament is typically met with less scrutiny than a full vote on repeal requires.

By 26th March, as a result of this successful in-house and agency collaboration, the threat was quashed.

Strategy and tactics

With such a tight timeframe, we built a public affairs and integrated communication plan which centred on collaboration and aligning in-house and agency-side activity to maximise impact right across the UK. We identified key political targets and publicity opportunities to mobilise support.

Talking politics

To supplement the League’s engagement with key political figures in Westminster, Freshwater engaged with politicians in Wales to broaden the reach and rally UK-wide support. The agency monitored parliamentary activity, developed an audit of target politicians, and assisted in drafting political ‘letters to’ and briefings.

Freshwater also developed lead angles for media and drafted press releases, articles and content for political blogs – selling these in to key targets to raise awareness. The League and Freshwater worked in tight partnership to develop a powerful infographic and flyer to present the key arguments in a highly visual way.

Following Freshwater and the League’s key briefings with politicians, David Cameron responded directly to a question on this matter posed by Angela Smith MP on 26th March.

Driving engagement

The hashtag #WhatTheFox? was designed to grab attention, get people talking and to aggregate all campaign activity. When a Twibbon featuring a fox visual was added to a Twitter profile, an auto-tweet was directed to @David_Cameron with the hashtag #WhatTheFox?

Supporters and prospects were also encouraged to change their Facebook cover photo to the #WhatTheFox? banner, to post set tweets and Facebook updates, as well as to share pictures of themselves with the campaign adverts via social media.

The Twibbon initiative generated 462 supports and 885 Facebook shares. Twitter followers increased by 14 percent during the campaign period and Facebook likes increased by 76 percent.

Secured media coverage included a front page spread in the Times, as well as articles in the Observer and Express. Advertising reached 2.2 million people and included placements in the Telegraph, Evening Standard and Metro as well as an MPU advert on www.conservativehome.com

Click here for further information about the Public Affairs Awards 2014, which have been launched to identify the best of the best campaigns in this arena

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