The media campaign had the goal to raise donations in everything hospitals in Romania needed. The association succeeded to send medical equipment to almost 100 hospitals in the country. In terms of communication results, we generated 260 press materials with over 21 million opportunities to see reach in the press.
In the winter of 2019, when everybody enjoyed the Holidays, somebody in Bucharest hardly waited to return to job. With 10 years of experience in volunteering projects, Melania Medeleanu, mother of MagicHome project, was testing the idea of a new project with her acquaintances: Zi de Bine Association aiming to sustain 12 NGOs each month for different causes, starting from March.
Convinced that the cause brings people together, Melania used her previous experience to launch a NGO with an innovative concept: a curator for social causes who raises funds for projects developed by local or less visible NGOs. At the beginning of each month, Zi de Bine announces the cause and those who want to help can give their support sending a SMS – the magic word is SUS (up) – personal donations, volunteering or partnerships. The call to action is shared in a positive tone of voice, with trust and love for life and people. The association slogan “Who is born in March, stand up, stand up!” was inspired from a popular song among Romanians who sang it at birthdays celebrations. It is a message for birthday person and for all those who want to donate and “help somebody to stand/ raise up” as well.
The association launching was scheduled for the end of February at Marie Curie hospital in Bucharest in a press conference where public figures, participating in the launching video, were also invited. Right on the launching day, when Melania was sharing with some journalists the 12 social causes that were planned to be supported by Zi de Bine Association the next year, at Henri Coanda airport the Romanian authorities communicated the first public health measures taken against the pandemic with the new coronavirus.
At that moment the association had also planned for 15th of March a large-scale event dedicated to the first cause – abandoned children in hospital, and 2.300 chairs would have been placed between Marie Curie hospital and Blondie Association Recovering Centre that was to receive Zi de Bine financing. Sitting on a chair at this event would have been a symbol for people who were willing to help abandoned children in hospitals implying a sad truth: nobody sits with these children in their time of need. Once the people traffic outside their homes was restricted and events forbidden, the context changed dramatically and the scenario for launching the first case was entirely redesigned. The event moved in online and everyone that was expected to come and take a seat on the chairs, took instead pictures sitting on their chairs at home then send them with the Text Message donation.
All this time we witnessed the beginning of the biggest world crisis of the 21st century. We saw events happened in Italy and felt the imminent danger. In Romania the medical system was paralyzed, we all were aware of the fact that our hospitals had no capacity to heal too many sick people at once. In this context, Melania reconceived the entire strategy and decided to bring a little bit of kindness in this struggle with the unknown: The patients from the local areas and hospitals in small towns were at the greatest risk, with no benefits from sponsorships or donations from big corporations, nor attention from authorities. Staying true to its mission to sustain less visible and local causes, the association put on hold all the other causes and started a 24 hours day work in order to help local hospitals.
To achieve the crowd funding objective, we analysed the Romanians psychological behaviour and triggers that made them donate. When it comes to make good deeds, everybody gives desirable answers, therefore the researches with real contributors as target, have a serious bias. The most valuable research source was the experience of the association’s founder, who worked for more than 10 years in social projects. We continued the research further to get insights from other successful NGOs founders as well, such as “Daruieste viata” association’s founders, Carmen Uscatu and Oana Gheorghiu.
From interviews in depth with these outstanding persons, we got the ingredients of a successful project: a noble cause, a solid implementation and trustful supporters. If one of the components vanishes, the way to failure opens at ease. We found out that Romanians feel more and more the need for a meaning. They want to do good things but with less effort. And expect a prompt reward in exchange for such effort (reason why we decided that each cause should last 30 days and present the results at the end of each month). Even when doing good things, Romanians enjoy competition.
Moreover, each month over 1,5 million Romanians celebrate their birthdays. What if some of these persons would give another meaning to their birthday by giving some euro for a cause?
There were several moments when we used the insights. All the 12 causes we decided to help were selected considering the following criteria: real life situations faced by communities, trustful partner associations and partners that showed steady and consistent civic spirit.
All these criteria were determined when we decided to help local hospitals during the campaign named #scutpentruspitale: the patients healed there were at high risk, the associations and local volunteers were very caring and connected to their community, the good people and companies in each area were really interested in helping the hospital from their town.
OBJECTIVES OF THE CAMPAIGN:
- To create awareness for Zi de Bine association, a NGO’s with an innovative concept, a curator for less visible social causes
- Fund raising at a fast peace – raising donations in 30 days tight time frame
- To attract a large number of personalities who offer a reliable example and so to generate social involvement in the community they address to.
- Core target: urban population with medium and extra medium income, that celebrate their birthday – approximately 1.500.000 Romanians each month
- Secondary target: decision makers in corporations, entrepreneurs, CEO level, top executives empowered to take donations decisions in their companies.
- Mass media and influencers, show biz, cultural and artistic personalities, inspiring models for their communities.
- media; print, online, radio TV
- own channels: website & social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube)
- personalities channels for direct contact with their funs: social media, blogs
- Minimum 1,5 million OTS each month (with each cause to reach 1,5 Romanians at least once, mothly)
- Call to action – to raise donations from at least 0,5% out of the targeted persons (1,5 million persons per month)
- To attract at least 1 public personality to endorse each cause.
PHASE 1: ZDB LAUNCHING EVENT
The association launching event took place as a press conference held at Marie Curie Hospital when people were invited to join the first cause proposed by the association: the children abandoned in hospitals and taken care by Blodie association. Through a video spot which starred Romanian top singers and VIPs, people were invited to donate 4 euros. The personalities who filmed pro bono for the cause were: Inna, Marius Florea Vizante, Cornel Ilie, Carla’s Dream, Alex Dima, Cristian China Birta, Mirela Retegan, Ioana Blaj, Ada Condeescu, Cristian China Birta, Ana Barton, Alexandra Furne, Dorina Chiriac. The spot was broadcasted on social media by all the stars involved. Moreover, we convinced 4 radio stations (Europa FM, Kiss FM, Rock FM, Magic FM) to be our partners and broadcast an audio version for 2 months.
PHASE 2: #SHIELDFORHOSPITALS
Adjustment caused by pandemic and #ScutPentruSpitale (#ShieldForHospitals) The pandemic eruption and events shifting from offline to online determined the communication strategy to adapt overnight.
We started an intense media relations campaign for #scutpentruspitale that became our no.1 priority. Respecting the transparency principle, important for donors as revealed by the research, we periodically communicated the evolution of funds & the list of equipment sent to hospitals.
The traditional press releases shared with local and national media, video materials and infographics posted on social media pages of the association, Melania and other supporters, became the communication tools that replaced the face-to-face events. Furthermore, the creative concept of the initial campaign „Who is born in April, May, June (…)” became during the crisis „Who is born in Petroşani, Sinaia, Rădăuți (…)?”.
Next, we started to attract VIPs born in the certain towns where hospitals were located to become fundraisers for #scupentruspitale. One of the most amazing results in this stage of the campaign was raising 50.000 Euro in 48 hours. During a live interview at PRO TV, we received 500 text messages with donations in just 10 minutes.
As a next step, a group of artists including Irina Rimes (a top singer from Republic of Moldova and a jury member in the TV show The VOICE) performed a “Quarantine Fest” online concert that was simultaneously broadcasted on the association and media partners Facebook pages. People were invited to donate to the cause instead of buying a ticket.
As a closure for #scutpentruspitale campaign a manifest movie was launched. The video gathered the stars and fundraisers involved in a sign of gratitude for the effort of all those who understood to help. The soundtrack of the clip was the song „Time for us” composed by „Man on the Moon” band. The film became viral quickly on the supporter’s social media pages reaching 3,000 views in just a few days.
PHASE 3: COMMUNICATION THE OTHER CAUSES
After #scutpentruspitale campaign, the association continued its activity with:
- ZID de Bine in June – a project of which purpose was to bring joy to the children in hospitals decorating the view from their windows with two mural paintings created on the walls across the street of the largest children hospitals in the country;
- Therapeutic Garden in July meant to bring joy and tranquillity to patients spending their lives inside Psychiatry Hospital Eftimie Diamandescu;
- Microduș in August, a caravan car transformed into a mobile shower travelling in poor rural areas to teach unprivileged children about importance of hygiene;
- Outdoor Classroom in schools backyards in September as school started in pandemic times and many educational institutions were not prepared. Till the end of 2020, Zi de Bine will curate another 3 projects each having its own communication plan.
Euros of donations for the cause
Short Text Messages each donating 2 Euros for the causes were received
OTS – total campaign reach in the press
total number of press materials (out of which 10 TV prime time news).
people audience on the social media channels (Facebook, Instagram & YouTube pages).
positive media sentiment.
OTS – average monthly reach in the press
out of which a world class tennis champion, a former Prime Minister of Romania and a top international pop star) were involved by participating in the video spot or by donating their birthdays for the causes Simona Halep, Inna, Marius Florea Vizante, Cornel Ilie, Carla’s Dream, Alex Dima, Cristian China Birta, Mirela Retegan, Ioana Blaj, Ada Condeescu, Cristian Ana Barton, Alexandra Furne, Dorina Chiriac, Dacian Cioloș, Ada Roseti, Raluca Hagiu, Elena Lasconi, Emma Stefan, Adelina Pestritu, Teodora Antonescu
units of support for the hospitals in Bucharest and Cluj Napoca created from scratch.
Besides the campaign quantitative results, there were two outcomes worthy to be mentioned as proving the campaign real success:
- In less than 3 months the association succeeded to send protection equipment, tests and medical equipment of over EUR 900.000 to almost 100 hospitals in Romania.
- After the first month of the campaign “Zi de Bine” association was credited with the title of the most trustful partner by Auchan and Leroy Merlin in the process of raising funds to equip a unit for medical support. Prepared in a record time of just 2 weeks, the unity for medical support was handed over to the authorities ready to welcome 350 patients with mild form of diseases, relieving so hospitals that could now pay attention to more critically ill patients.
Why it is a cool campaign?
The campaign innovative feature resides in the tone of voice and messages approach. In a mass media overwhelmed by negative messages, we aimed to focus the messages for each communication phase around the joy of living and positive aspects. Throughout the campaign #scutpentruspitale there was a steady need to find creative solutions in order to fir the changes occurred due to the pandemic context: we changed the event scenario from offline to online, we prioritized the causes considering the context and sustained the causes with greatest need for support. And all these were done just through PR and digital efforts, the campaign having no budget allocated for implementation