MS Society spoke at our latest Relay event, How charity campaigns are more integrated than ever, about their #ScrapPIP20m campaign.
Katherine Dickinson, Campaign Manager, and Babs Guthrie, Senior Editor, discussed how part of their campaign mobilised thousands to sign a petition to scrap a new rule which directly affects the independence of those living with MS.
This new rule relates to Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which is claimed by over 44,000 people with MS in the UK. Changes to the way people can claim the benefit mean many people with MS have lost crucial support, 65% of whom say that their MS is worse as a result. MS Society’s #ScrapPIP20m campaign therefore petitions to scrap this rule entirely.
The power of simplicity plays a key role in this campaign in mobilising both warm and cold audiences to sign a petition. With an aim to deliver 36,000 signatures, alongside an evidence based report, to parliament, the call to action had to be simple. However, the complexities of the rule made it difficult to explain, especially to a cold audience. A video, produced by Raw London, made it possible to communicate the issue to completely cold audiences, and rally both new and existing audiences to take action.
Using a running track to visualise 20 meters, the video shows how the rule unfairly affects people with MS, who can walk further on some days than others as their symptoms fluctuate. The film was received positively by the MS community and gave the charity the confidence to build an entire campaign around the simple but effective creative.
The hero film and supporting content such as stills and user-generated content resulted in MS Society reaching their goal of 36,000 signatures – 20,000 of which in the first 17 days, and 6,000 of which were entirely new supporters. There were also 194,000 views for the hero film across all platforms, 70,000 reach on Twitter and a 31% completion rate on YouTube, which much higher than average. Impressively, the campaign also gained 165 pieces of press coverage.
Email engagement also played a key role throughout the campaign, and was effective in engaging current supporters to sign the petition and asking new supporters to share it. By segmenting the emails by region and previous behaviours, they achieved a 20% click-through rate and reached 20,000 signatures within the first 17 days of the campaign.
The MS Society delivered their petition to parliament alongside a stunt which highlighted the restrictive nature of the new PIP rule. Although the government still hasn’t scrapped the rule, the campaign has strongly highlighted how strongly many people feel about the issue.