As a lot of my campaigns are aimed at children and their families, schools provide a great place to reach my target audience. In the past I have been lucky enough to delegate the actual delivery of the promotion to schools. However due to tight deadlines and the end of term rapidly approaching, I had no choice but to deliver this particular campaign myself to every school in Salford.
I started off on my journey presuming that school staff would be more than happy to accommodate my request to stuff hundreds of leaflets into individual book-bags. How wrong I was! At one of the first schools when I wasn’t met with overwhelming enthusiasm, I pointed out that the promotional material I was giving them was offering children a wealth of opportunities to be physically active over the summer for free which, given the fact Salford has extremely high levels of deprivation and childhood obesity, was addressing local issues and a growing national concern. However when the response was serious ‘eye-rolling’ that my 6 year old would have been proud of and tuts of disapproval, I realised I needed to take a different approach.
I came back to something that Penny and her team kept reinforcing to us during bootcamp. What response do I want and how do I need to act to get that response? The response was simple. I had spent a considerable amount of time and money on this campaign and its execution was vital, I needed to get those secretaries on board.
Following my moment of clarity the next school I descended upon was extremely busy due to a school play. I approached the secretaries as an understanding comrade with empathy for these overworked women. I explained how I knew it was an extremely busy time of year but if they had a chance would they mind putting a really useful leaflet (that also contained information about a reading challenge aimed at maintaining reading levels throughout the summer consequently aiding children as they start their new year at school – see what I did there!) into the childrens’ book-bags. And guess what, the response I got was much more positive.
So today I feel happy that I have been able to put into practice a key learning from bootcamp. 25 schools down – 40 to go!