Third Sector Awards: Communications Campaign of the Year – Stamma, the British Stammering Association for 'Find the Right Words'

Awarded to a charity for a highly successful, innovative or inspiring communications campaign.

Communications Campaign of the Year – Stamma, the British Stammering Association for 'Find the Right Words'

What was the aim of the campaign?

There is a widespread expectation that those who stammer should strive to speak and sound like everyone else, but this can be profoundly damaging, driving many to hide their stammer. Stamma wanted to challenge this negative representation and show the public that a stammer is simply a different way of talking.

What was the approach?

Working with agency VMLY&R, Stamma found that Wikipedia entries about those who stammer were almost always negative. Together, they created a spreadsheet of 183 Wikipedia articles that referred to stammering or stuttering in a negative way, including those about Ed Sheeran, Emily Blunt, Lewis Carroll, Samuel L Jackson and Charles Darwin.

The team proposed neutral alternatives and rewrote the Wikipedia entries, capturing edits in an animated film with a voiceover from Stamma patron Scroobius Pip. The film was promoted on social and outdoor media.

Stamma worked with Wikipedia on announcing the changes. The charity approached JCDecaux and Ocean for outdoor and digital advertising space and worked with counterparts in the US, Canada, Australia and Ireland to run the campaign in each country.

Stamma created guidelines for the media on how to talk about stammering, endorsed by the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists.

What did the campaign achieve?

Despite having no communications staff, no communications agency, and no budget, Stamma’s campaign had a considerable impact. Twitter impressions rose by 859 per cent, while traffic to the charity’s website increased by 46 per cent. The video was viewed more than 55,000 times across all platforms. Before the campaign Stamma gained an average 86 new members a month; in the month of the campaign launch the charity gained 203 new members, and now has an average of 168 new members a month. The guidelines were distributed to all Wikimedia's writers.

What did the judges say?

An original and powerful campaign, with a highly impressive impact on virtually zero spend.”

Highly commended

  • Alzheimer's Society for 'Fix Dementia Care'/Coronavirus campaign

Finalists

  • British Red Cross for 'Vaccine Voices'
  • Chester Zoo for 'Save Our Zoo'
  • Marie Curie for 'National Day of Reflection'
  • Scope for 'We Won't Be Forgotten'
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