After audiologists told the RNID that young people were increasingly reporting hearing problems associated with listening to loud music, the charity decided it was time to act. It launched the Don't Lose The Music campaign to raise awareness among young people of the risk of hearing damage, and to encourage them to get their hearing checked.
Part of the strategy involved creating a new website with the Don't Lose The Music brand. "The pure RNID brand would not have got the message across to young people," says Emma Harrison, director of public engagement at the RNID.
The campaign includes a website, posters and other promotional material distributed to pubs, clubs and festivals. The campaign has also worked with pubs and clubs to improve conditions for staff.
"We worked with the unions and the industry to raise awareness of the noise at work regulations", says Harrison. This involved producing easy-to-read guidelines on the regulations for club and bar owners to help them ensure their employees, including DJs and bar staff, are adequately protected against loud noise.
The next objective was to get the message across to the people who go to pubs and nightclubs. This involved distributing posters and earplugs to venues and spreading information about the RNID's free online hearing check. The RNID persuaded a number of celebrities from the music business to endorse the campaign, including the DJ Judge Jules, the rapper and singer Plan B and the singer Gary Numan. The aim was to appeal to a wide range of music fans. A Twitter feed and Facebook page were also launched to keep people updated on the campaign's progress.
The campaign also includes a "roadies" initiative that invites people to join the Don't Lose the Music team: they will attend music festivals for free in return for spreading the campaign's message.
"The aim of the campaign is to provide information about why hearing is important and how to protect it," says Harrison.
She says the campaign has received about 3,000 pledges from members of the public that they will take action to protect their own hearing, such as turning down their MP3 players.
EXPERT VIEW: Jon Dytor, Non-profit sector account manager, Chameleon Net
The strongest aspect of RNID's Don't Lose The Music campaign is that it aims to connect with its music-loving target audience on their turf - gigs, clubs and festivals. The idea of enlisting 'roadies' (volunteers) to spread the word and distribute merchandise in exchange for gig tickets is simple and well-suited.
Online activity should work in a similar way: are campaign ambassadors mobilised on social networks to engage people in places such as musicians' and venues' walls, and music-specific groups? I can't tell, but they should be. The hearing check on Facebook is an attractive, shareable tool and a nice hook for this type of activity. However, the website tries to cover too much ground; there is quite a lot of content and the celebrity endorsements seem a superfluous addition. I'd have favoured a more focused approach.
Total: 6 out of 10