There was even more of a Friday feeling around the office at the end of last week in the afterglow of winning a prestigious PR industry prize the night before.
We had travelled to Bristol for the glitzy PCRA Dare Awards where we waited nervously after dinner to find out if we had won the Digital and Social Strategy Award.
Our presence on the shortlist of the South West and Wales region was thanks to a compelling national campaign we ran on behalf of government intelligence organisation GCHQ.
GCHQ had tasked us with attracting potential job candidates to undertake its online treasure hunt, Can you Find it?, devised to find those with the very best mathematical, code-breaking and ethical hacking skills.
We were eager from the start to do justice to such an exciting brief and we responded with a six-week campaign that successfully spread the word across national and social media.
The figures speak for themselves: the challenge website was viewed around the world 421,982 times – including 72,000 in just the first two days.
Social media referrers to the website surged, the topic trended on LinkedIn, and tweets from the Times and ITV reached a combined 353,000 followers.
The online search term ‘GCHQ’ increased by a staggering 300 per cent during the week of launch.
We fuelled interest further by linking the campaign to the topical story of Alan Turing, the famous World War Two code-breaker of Bletchley Park who had exactly the skills GCHQ was looking for today.
The campaign pressed the right buttons for broadcast, online and trade media too and achieved national coverage on a host of outlets: BBC Newsnight, Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme, Mail Online, Sun+, the Times, plus major titles in the tech sector: ITPro, Computer World UK and V3.co.uk.
It culminated in thousands of people completing the challenge which delivered the mix of candidates GCHQ was hoping for.
A further positive side-effect was to highlight GCHQ’s heritage in countering cyber threats to the UK, at a time when it was facing tough headlines in the press.
It was a campaign we were incredibly proud of: for the ideas, research, implementation and outcomes – and the judges agreed, awarding us the Digital and Social Strategy Award.
— PRCA (@PRCA_UK) June 5, 2014
To win an award for our efforts is always cause for celebration but even more pleasing than that was the happy reaction of the client.
However, in this case there’s an extra sense of pride because of the category in which we won the award – digital and social.
It’s become so central to the wider communications industry that being recognised by our peers for an outstanding campaign is a huge boost and spotlights our capabilities, imagination and enthusiasm.
We’ll see you at the next awards!