Digital Campaign of the Week: Prostate Cancer Research Foundation

The deceased comedian is back from the dead again - this time on Twitter

Bob Monkhouse on Twitter
Bob Monkhouse on Twitter

What is it?
The chance to follow deceased comedian Bob Monkhouse on Twitter, courtesy of the Prostate Cancer Resarch Foundation.

Bob's Twitter account is a mix of his best one-liners delivered in 140 characters (such as "Always borrow from pessimists... They never expect it back"), and information about the foundation. Those who sign up receive a message asking them to donate to the charity online.

The Twitter activity is an extension of the charity's long-running Give a Few Bob campaign, which features the comedian, who died of prostate cancer in 2003, ‘brought back to life' using digital technology. Bob can be befriended on Facebook and watched in a viral film.

Why Twitter?
The microblogging site has allowed the charity to target a new demographic audience, according to Emma Halls, chief executive of the PCRF. "Twitter seemed quite fun and the campaign was deliberately meant to target young people," she says.

Was a creative agency involved?
Marketing company The Communications Agency work with the PCRF on a pro bono basis, and staff at both organisations contribute to Bob's Twitter account.

"Bob's widow approached us after Bob died – she wanted to do something with us," says Halls. "The agency had the idea of bringing him back from the dead."

How will the campaign's success be monitored?
There are no plans to monitor the Twitter campaign formally, but Bob has been on the site for a month and a half, and this week he had 392 followers.

"Because we're a small charity, it's partly just to get people to know who we are," says Halls.

Third Sector's verdict
A great talking point. PCRF's Twitter campaign is imaginative and ideal for a small charity.

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