Interview: Mark Parry

The PR manager at Porchlight, a homelessness charity supporting people in Kent and Medway, says he admires campaigns with a bit of fire

Mark Parry
Mark Parry

- What is your role at the charity?

I'm responsible for raising awareness of the charity's work. I do this through media relations, social media and creating engaging content for the website. I work closely with people to help them tell their stories in the media and through our PR channels.

- What campaigns have you recently worked on?

I have recently completed a campaign to promote the charity's 24-hour helpline with the aim of encouraging members of the public to call us when they see a rough sleeper. There is also the option of completing a form online. We used marketing materials, social media, the local media and radio advertising to drive the campaign message: Don't Just Walk Past - Tell Us. The response was good, with significant activity on Twitter and Facebook, widespread local media coverage and a notable increase in rough sleeper reports from the public.

- What campaigns do you admire?

I enjoyed Remember A Charity's campaign to promote legacy giving, featuring the stuntman Rocky Taylor. They launched the campaign by having Rocky jump through a glass door in front of photographers. He also jumped from scaffolding at Battersea Power Station, which was broadcast live on Facebook with followers dictating the amount of fire involved - they chose "inferno"!

- What trends do you see emerging for third sector comms in 2013?

I think that the focus this year will be on mobile internet - not only ensuring that websites are mobile-friendly but also encouraging engagement from supporters who are on the move. Social and mobile strategies are now so vital that we no longer need to make a distinction by talking about "digital" marketing.

- What advice would you give people starting out in comms?

Read everything. Get yourself on Twitter and LinkedIn and follow key people or discussion groups. Take an interest in what others in your sector are doing.

Mark Parry is PR manager at Porchlight, a homelessness charity supporting people in Kent and Medway

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