One of our charity PR and marketing clients, Forget Me Not, tasked us with organising its first ever Bark in the Park fundraising event for its new children’s hospice in Bury, Grace’s Place. As well as raise money, the charity event and associated charity PR, marketing and stunt needed to increase awareness and engagement with the local community. And after securing many regional and national media opportunities – including a unique opportunity with Channel 4 – it was a great success.
Manchester charity PR event: Bark in the Park
After weeks of planning and despite a very rainy start to the day, hundreds of families and people from Greater Manchester and beyond attended the charity fundraising event at Heaton Park.
As well as refreshments, stalls and activities for kids, we had a dog show (including category for best fancy dress) – which was judged by the genuinely lovely Tom and Julie Malone from Gogglebox (who came with their dog Dave!) – flyball, dog agility and a group walk around the park.
Charity PR stunt: A dog-sized cake inspired by the royal wedding
We also commissioned Channel 4 Extreme Cake Maker Molly Robbins to create a very special surprise for one of Forget Me Not’s children, Olivia Benn, who is going to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding on 19th May 2018.
Kirsty Franks, general manager of Forget Me Not’s Children’s Hospice Grace’s Place, said: “At Forget Me Not we believe in ‘the magic of yes’ and when we found out one of our children was going to the royal wedding we knew we had to mark the occasion in a unique way. Extreme Cake Maker Molly doesn’t live too far away from our new children’s hospice in North Manchester and with the Queen such a lover of corgis we wanted an elaborate, show-stopping cake that would tie in with our Bark in the Park event and celebrate Olivia being chosen to attend Harry and Meghan’s wedding.”
Baker Molly created a remarkable dog-sized cake inspired by the Queen’s love of corgis and presented it to 13-year-old Olivia at the event – and it was certainly a sight to see.
Extreme Cake Maker Molly Robbins said: “Anyone who watches the show will know my speciality is designing and making animal-themed cakes – and I love dogs in particular! When I heard about the wonderful work Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice does I wanted to support the charity somehow. With one of their children going to Harry and Meghan’s wedding it was the perfect opportunity to create a cake inspired by Queen Elizabeth and her beloved corgis.”
Olivia said: “The cake was amazing! Being presented with the cake and being able to cut it and taste it before everyone else was so nice. It’s made me really excited to go to the royal wedding. I can’t believe I’ve been chosen to go and I can’t wait to see Meghan in her wedding dress and spot the other members of the royal family.”
This isn’t the first time the charity has made the headlines with its links with royalty. Find out more about the charity press day with a member of the royal family.
Charity PR coverage and results
Not only did we have a lovely story behind the royal canine cake and the fundraising event, but we had some great images from the event thanks to photographer Alexander Ward. This helped us to achieve some fantastic regional and national coverage in several publications including the Bury Times, BT Online, The Independent, Evening Express, Express & Star and The Irish News.
We also secured multiple pieces of coverage and a high level of social media buzz ahead of the event thanks to the likes of Manchester Evening News, Unilad, BBC Radio Manchester and That’s Manchester TV.
In the week leading up to the royal wedding, Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice will appear on a royal wedding special of Extreme Cake Makers, giving the charity exposure to millions of people across the UK. We can’t wait to see the show!
The visual nature of the event meant lots of the attendees shared their own photos, videos and updates widely on social media, tagging the charity and using the event hashtag #BarkinthePark. And most importantly, it helped to increase awareness of the charity and raise money.
Photo credits: alexanderward.com.
A big thank you to event manager Siobhan Barlow and the team and volunteers at Forget Me Not!
Contact Manchester PR, marketing and content agency Unhooked Communications for an informal chat about how events can help boost your profile and engage with your target audiences, as well as how to maximise PR and media opportunities from your event.