Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) is an environmental charity set up in 1990 to protect the UKâ€™s oceans, waves and beaches for all to enjoy. This is achieved through community action, campaigning, volunteering, conservation, education and scientific research. The charityâ€™s purpose is to keep the sea free from sewage effluents, toxic chemicals, nuclear waste and marine litter. The charity also tries to protect surfing spots from environmental damage and loss of wave quality and to safeguard the access rights of surfers. The charityâ€™s objectives, clearly stated on their website, are:
â€¢ To undertake and promote for the benefit of the public the conservation, protection, improvement and ecologically sustainable management of the marine environment including associated land, shoreline and structures.
â€¢ To advance the education of the public in the conservation, protection, improvement and ecologically sustainable management of the marine environment including associated land, shoreline and structures.
They achieve these objectives in a number of ways. SAS:
â€¢ Influences governments on key issues affecting oceans, beaches and recreational water users and policies needed to delive`r a cleaner and safer marine environment.
â€¢ Creates volunteering opportunities for individuals and communities to be involved with activities to safeguard our seas, coastlines and beaches.
â€¢ Educates communities on the achievable, sustainable solutions, which can help protect our waves, oceans and beaches.
â€¢ Challenges industry to adopt better standards to protect our coastal environment.
â€¢ Promotes scientific, economic and health evidence to support calls for a cleaner and safer marine environment.
â€¢ Informs the general public about issues affecting UK waves, oceans and beaches, and those that use them.
SAS need to generate sufficient income to support ongoing environmental initiatives, community events and campaigns. This is achieved through membership subscriptions, as well as individual and corporate donations, grant making bodies, profits from the sale of merchandise, supporter fundraising events and project sponsorship. An important part of SAS work is to find new ways to recruit and retain members. Chief Executive Hugo Tagholm believes â€œThe more members we have, the further our message will reach and the greater the impact we can have to protect waves, oceans and beaches for everyoneâ€. Currently, members are offered a number of benefits including:
â€¢ Regular campaign updates through the members magazine â€˜Pipelineâ€™
â€¢ Campaign materials such as posters and stickers to help members take action
â€¢ Exclusive offers such as 10% discount in the SAS Eco Surf Shop
â€¢ Unique gift and annual membership key-ring and car sticker
â€¢ Invitations to community events such as local beach cleans
There are a number of membership packages available too. These include family membership (Â£30 annually), single membership (Â£24 annually), as well as group membership (Â£10 per group member) and the option to purchase a lifetimeâ€™s membership (a one-off payment from Â£240).
Promoting Surfers Against Sewage
Surfers Against Sewage promote the charity through a range of media. They have an award-winning website, create short films on SAS TV, have a SAS YouTube channel, as well as using Facebook and Twitter. They also work with carefully selected supporters/ sponsors to raise awareness of the charity. The Surfers Against Sewage campaign archive is available at http://www.sas.org.uk/news/campaigns/ and provides a flavour of the type of activities undertaken.
Your role and task:
You have recently graduated and are keen to demonstrate your ability in using marketing communications. You have ventured to Cornwall to join â€˜Surfers Against Sewageâ€™ as a Marketing Communications Executive. As a charity, the investment in your skills and expertise was a hard fought battle as the charityâ€™s finances are limited. SAS see you as someone who can help them with their current task which is to develop a proposal for a Membership Recruitment and Retention campaign.
Your task is to develop a proposal for a marketing communications campaign to
â€¢ attract and recruit members in the 18-35 age group (i.e. RECRUIT MEMBERS)
â€¢ support the charityâ€™s long term retention of this group (i.e. KEEP MEMBERS)
Constraints and Considerations:
There are 3 constraints which have a bearing on the SAS promotional activity and that you must take into consideration when developing your proposal.
1. Budget: As a charity, SAS must use its income carefully and cannot justify a large budget. Instead they have recruited you to work within their team, investing in your expertise rather than in paying for mass media promotion. Inevitably this means that the SAS wishes you to develop the most effective campaign with the least budget! They have suggested a nominal amount of Â£5k, but remember that even this comes from cash needed to run the charity so a tight rein is needed.
2. Charitable Donations and Recession: Charities are facing funding cuts and low investment returns, but cannot contemplate adopting more aggressive canvassing as this could alienate potential donors. A sense of civic duty has meant that charity giving has been relatively unaffected by the recession, but according to Mintelâ€™s (2012) report on Charitable Giving, donations of Â£5 and more are declining. Interestingly, the biggest increase in giving has been amongst the 16-24-year-olds, although older donors of 55+years remain the most generous overall. Mintel reported very negative attitudes towards street and phone charity canvassing. Women were particularly sceptical of charities, with 39% expressing doubts that their donation would reach the recipient. It is certainly the case that emotions influence charity giving, suggesting that individuals are motivated to give because they really care about the charitable cause. Younger adults (aged 16-24) are more influenced by the feel-good factor of donating, with over six in ten (63%) admitting that giving makes them feel good about themselves. Only three in ten over-55s think the same.
3. Understanding Motivations: Consumers with a high level of concern for the environment form a consistently large segment of the population, according to a recent study by Grimmer and Woolley (2014). Some academic studies have suggested that promotional appeals in this area work better if the consumer can see some direct individual benefit to the purchase in addition to the wider environmental benefit. One of the ways to increase the consumerâ€™s perception of individual or personal benefits is to add emotional value. However research by Grimmer and Woolley (2014) contradict the claim that consumers will be more likely to act in an environmentally friendly manner if they could gain moral satisfaction, or could see the personal benefit, from doing so. Instead their own study found that high involvement consumers would be more influenced by information relevant to the environmental consequences of their consumption, while low involvement consumers were influenced by information that was more tangential and impressionistic, that is, how the purchase would make them feel.
You are welcome to take a look at the following sources which were used in the development of this brief- indeed we recommend that you do so. The brief is based on a real charity, but some details have been changed to suit the assessment task. On no account should you contact the Surfers Against Sewage organisation as 250+ university student queries would rather overload them and would not be welcome! No marks will be awarded for any information collected in this way so beware.
Mintel (2012), Charitable Giving, UK, May 2012 (online via UWE library)
Surfers Against Sewage website, available from http://www.sas.org.uk/
Grimmer, M. and Woolley, M. (2014), Green marketing messages and consumers' purchase intentions: Promoting personal versus environmental benefits, Journal of Marketing Communications, 20:4, 231-250 (online via UWE library)
SAS require that you produce a proposal document for an integrated marketing communications campaign. This document will require you not only to draw upon the information provided in the brief but also relevant, publicly available materials and academic studies in order to produce a persuasive and compelling rationale for your choice of target audience, message and media as well as creative approach and campaign evaluation.
Your task involves researching, developing and submitting a proposal that outlines how you intend to achieve the charityâ€™s objectives.
In researching your proposal you may wish to consider:
â€¢ The market in which the SAS operates.
â€¢ The meaning of the charity to members and their motivations for joining or giving.
â€¢ The current communications activity by the SAS ( from their website)
You should consider examining existing academic studies on relevant issues, as well as any market reports available (such as the sources listed after the brief).
Ultimately, your aim here is to demonstrate that you fully understand the context within which communications activities are to be proposed.
In developing your proposal you should include:
1. A campaign name that fits your ideas, is in keeping with SAS promotions and is suited to your target audience.
2. The background context: Key points that emerge from your own research and analysis and from the brief provided.
3. A statement of your communications objectives and clarification of the target audience based on the information in the brief. Consider how you want the audience to think (cognition), how you want them to feel (affect) and what you want them to do (behaviour).
4. Details of an integrated marketing communications campaign which includes:
a. The marketing communications tools you would choose to use (i.e. advertising, sponsorship etc)
b. The message you want to communicate (use consumer insights to ensure this message is appropriate to the target audience)
c. The media through which this message should be communicated. Consider the full range of options (traditional, digital and social media), select and justify your choices.
d. Any creative elements that will be adopted (tag lines, message framing, storytelling etc). Chapter 25 of the course text will help with this section.
5. Methods for evaluating the campaign.
It is important that you use academic concepts, theories and research studies where possible. For example, you might use the findings of an academic study on charitable giving or environmental issues in your background context and academic concepts and theories to support your message, media and creative choices. This academic underpinning makes the proposal more credible, helping to justify your decisions (as well as earning you marks!). All sources must be correctly referenced using the UWE Harvard referencing style.
In submitting your proposal you should:
â€¢ Use a Microsoft Word format with 1.5 line spacing
â€¢ Submit online via Blackboard
â€¢ Use headings and subheadings to provide clear structure
â€¢ Use diagrams, charts or images where they help support your decisions
â€¢ Check carefully for spelling and grammar
â€¢ Use the UWE Harvard referencing style (see Library website for details)
â€¢ Note that the word count includes everything in the main body of the proposal, including text, headings, tables, citations, quotes, lists, acronyms and numbers expressed as digits or in words. It does NOT include the contents page (if used) or the references.
Assessment Marking Criteria
You will be assessed on your ability to:
Research and evaluate the context in which the communications activity is to occur: 20%
â€¢ Integration of a range of appropriate sources including publicly available information, market reports and academic studies.
â€¢ Evaluation of the current communication context bases on the information collected and material provided in the brief.
Develop appropriate objectives and define and understand the target audience: 20%
â€¢ Critical discussion of the target audience suggested in the brief, and clearer definition of the target group that goes beyond the detail provided.
â€¢ Use of consumer insights to inform decisions. i.e. identification of what triggers a consumer response.
â€¢ Consideration of the intended effect of the campaign in terms of the target groupâ€™s affective, cognitive or behavioural response.
Propose and justify appropriate marketing communications tools, message and media, incorporating creative elements: 40%
â€¢ Identification of marketing communications tools that suit the objectives and constraints of the brief (i.e. advertising, PR, sponsorship etc.).
â€¢ Compelling and creative message that suits the objectives and the target group.
â€¢ Appropriate media decisions, selected from the full range of media (traditional, digital and social) and well justified.
â€¢ Decision making underpinned by academic research, theory or concepts.
â€¢ Overall consistency and clear linkages across all decisions.
Suggest methods for evaluating the campaign: 10%
â€¢ Suitable approaches with clear links back to the objectives.
â€¢ Points at which the campaign should be assessed.
Communicate effectively: 10%
â€¢ Logical structure to proposal, with sub-headings to guide the reader (e.g. use the numbered list in the section above on â€˜Developing Your Proposalâ€™ )
â€¢ Strong linkages between each section of the proposal.
â€¢ Correct use of referencing for all sources.
â€¢ Good writing style with correct use of English grammar and well- formed sentences without spelling errors.The layout of the proposal
Feedback from previous students suggests that further advice on the layout of the proposal would be useful. If you are unsure how to structure your proposal, then the following checklist may help.
1. Proposed Campaign Title
2. Communications Context, including your analysis of:
a. The market
b. The charity consumer
c. The current SAS promotion and/or member communication
3. Objectives and audiences
a. Proposed objectives
b. Target audience (use knowledge and detail of target group)
c. Desired response
4. Proposals for:
a. marketing communications tools,
b. message (and creative elements)
5. Evaluation methods