Case study: Royal British Legion Industries

The armed forces charity wanted to make films about beneficiaries' personal experiences

RBLI: using video to tell personal stories
RBLI: using video to tell personal stories

A week-long awareness campaign by Royal British Legion Industries was held in the build-up to Armed Forces Day in June, featuring the personal stories of RBLI beneficiaries, including veterans needing nursing care, ex-army personnel working in the charity's social enterprise arm and those making the transition to civilian work.

The RBLI released a short film on YouTube and on social media every day to highlight a different aspect of its work. They were designed to raise the profile of the charity among its stakeholders so that local authorities, serving and retired military personnel and potential clients of its social enterprise businesses could get to know the charity better.

Phil Barros, the charity's sales and marketing executive, says: "People work with us on the beneficiary side or on the commercial side and we wanted to raise awareness of the larger process. We wanted people to know that we are not just an assistance charity, but also help people to find employment through our social enterprise and employment services."

The charity had been experimenting with testimonial-based video content, and Barros says it made sense to expand on this work to mark Armed Forces Day and promote the organisation. The films were made in-house, using software that the charity already owned, in order to keep costs low. "We wanted to make the films all about people's personal experiences to give a level of authenticity," he says. "The core of the charity is its beneficiaries - they are great people with great stories."

The week was promoted to the charity's stakeholders using traditional PR, Twitter, Facebook and armed forces forums and groups on LinkedIn. During the week, the films received 74 retweets, which had the potential to reach about 100,000 people, and the films were viewed more than 600 times. Awareness days were also held to coincide with the film releases, with the people featured in them telling their stories to supporting organisations, the media and local government.

Barros says: "The response has been very positive, particularly from the commercial organisations that purchase our products. They could see how it benefits beneficiaries directly."


Ben Matthews, founding director, Bright OneBen Matthews, founding director, Bright One

Rather than using Twitter and Facebook exclusively and going for what might seem the traditional route for event amplification through social media, the Royal British Legion Industries campaign was a brave attempt to cut through the noise through a series of YouTube videos.

Skilling up staff in order to make the films in-house is a smart move: video content can play a central part in RBLI communications in the years ahead at a time when video is more popular and accessible than ever. Although the interest on Twitter was relatively low, this is content RBLI can use in future campaigns. It would have been great to see more integration across the campaign to reach wider audiences. Was any media spend put behind the campaign - Overall, a great learning experience for the charity and lots of fantastic content to use in the future.

Creativity: 3
Delivery: 3
6 out of 10

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