The cancellation of the 2020 Saffery Rotary Walk (SRW) due to COVID 19 meant the organisers were determined to bring the well-loved charity fundraising event back bigger and better. The ‘Saffery Rotary Walk 2020-2021’ aimed to build on the fantastic ‘Guernsey Together’ spirit shown throughout the pandemic; the only round island walk, which benefits 22 local charities needed to celebrate and bringing the community together. With the island’s borders closed the event was reliant on local people taking on the epic 39-mile challenge.
- Increase the number of walkers (compared with 2019 entries) focusing on encouraging relay team sign ups
- Increase engagement on social media through informative, fun content and encourage participation in the #SafferySelfie competition
- Encourage fundraising by showcasing the work the beneficiary charities do
- Launch and raise awareness of the Walk’s first ‘Families Walking Together’ event
We took a campaign-led, multi-channel approach to ensure the event’s key messages and milestones were effectively communicated to the right audiences.
- Preparation is key: we asked two Walk veterans including the Walk’s Patron, the Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey, Sir Ian Corder (who has completed six SRWs) to share their advice with first time walker and Guernsey FC’s top goal scorer, Ross Allen. We generated engaging video content at different locations around the route, the trio’s local profiles meant the video received wide interest
- Telling the community story: We profiled 10 charities benefitting from the Walk with dedicated social posts. Five charities submitted videos highlighting how their chosen project would benefit from the money raised. We encouraged the charities to share the post on their own social channels to increase reach.
- Getting the basics right: we designed poster graphics for the main walk and the new Families Walking Together event confirming logistics, timings, and all event details. These posters were shared on social media and boosted on Facebook and Instagram to a local audience.
- Hey Buddy! a Buddy-Up online community connected 114 solo walkers, groups walks were arranged and training pictures were shared.
- #SafferySelfie competition: we created Facebook-themed 3D frames that walkers could use as a prop, placed at each checkpoint. The theme- #GloriousGuernsey – encouraged walkers to promote the stunning views around the island, these will be used to promote the 2022 Walk to entice the UK and Jersey walkers back!
- A Walk for All: to encourage relay team sign-ups, SRW relay teams past and present provided testimonies to the Guernsey Press about why they chose to take part. Featured across a double page spread, these real-life stories encouraged other members of the community take part and showcased that the event is accessible to anyone.
- A drip feed of news: regular news releases about the event and its milestones kept the media and local community informed. This included early bird and registration announcements, updates on the number of signups, accessibility and relay details, and a diary note inviting the media to interview the Walk’s Chair Simon Milsted about the new Families Walking Together Event.
- 1004 entrants; a record-breaking number for the Walk and a 5% increase on 2019 despite ongoing travel restrictions (Jersey and UK entrants usually make up at least 10% of sign-ups).
- 32 relay teams took part on the day – a record-breaking number.
- 60 families took part in the Walk’s first Families Walking Together event.
- A record-breaking amount of money is expected to have been raised for the 22 local benefiting charities.
- 118 posts were shared across Facebook and Twitter, gaining a total reach of 151,598 (61% increase on 2019) and 11,066 engagements (73% increase on 2019).
- The Walk preparation video received 4351 views, 671 thru-plays and 97 engagements.
- The charity profiles collectively received 639 views and 227 engagements.
- 26 pieces of local media coverage were secured with a total reach of 228,390, including two double page spreads and one front cover image in the Guernsey Press.
Photo credit – Ben Fiore