In 2012 we helped the blind veterans’ charity St Dunstan’s rebrand to Blind Veterans UK. The charity’s rebrand was a move designed to raise awareness following the result of intensive research by the 96-year-old charity, which was showing a poor level of recognition amongst the general public despite the fabulous work that they do.
We were responsible for changing all their digital profiles from St Dunstan’s to Blind Veterans UK before 8am on the day, including their Twitter, LinkedIn and Flickr profiles, as well as changing the branding on the Blind Veterans blog, which we had set up for them a few weeks earlier, bringing together their existing blog from various parts of the charity, including Arts & Crafts, Fundraising and Sports.
We also went live with their new Blind Veterans Facebook page, while keeping the old one updated about the rebrand, and their new YouTube account, which we had preloaded with content, and a new Google+ profile.
Alongside their direct mail notifications to their databases informing their supporters of the forthcoming change, we had already identified key supporters on their online database and approached them directly to prime them about the change and ask for their support on the day in spreading the word. In addition, from a week earlier we had started dropping large hints about ‘The Big Day’ and attached it to the hashtag “raisetheflags”.
We produced a video about the brand change with their CEO, the lovely Ray Hazan OBE, and this was placed prominently across their social profiles in order to aid understanding of the reasons for the change by the stakeholders.
On the day itself we started at rolling out the message from 8am, and covered the marines abseiling down the Brighton centre, the bomb disposal robot revealing the new name in Sheffield and the RAF delivering the new flag to the Llandudno centre in a Sea King helicopter through six different social channels, plus digital PR, and finally finished up at about 10pm, after a record number of tweets and retweets, 70 new followers on Twitter on that day alone and a massive jump in Klout of 6 places from 42 to 49!
The whole story was captured in real time on Storify – see below.
Looking at the statistics just a week later, we could see an increase in traffic to the website and front page positions on Google, even for such general search terms as ‘blind charity’, which bearing in mind they had only been on page 6 of Google for ‘blind charity’ a week earlier and nowhere for military charity, AND that they had a complete website change on the day as well as rebrand, was deeply impressive by anyone’s standards.
Throughout it all we kept a crisis-primed eye on the comments and commentary, and found that the overwhelming response was positive, which was a relief for the team, who had been worried that with it being such a Grand Old Charity, that there would be a backlash. However, all the hard work beforehand and on the day to inform and educate paid off and a highly successful rebrand was very publicly achieved. Result!
To find out how we can raise your profile and/or help you rebrand online or finesse an online launch, please email us at [email protected].