Third Sector Awards: Communications Team of the Year – Midlands Air Ambulance Charity

Awarded to the communications team that has worked effectively together to raise awareness of a particular campaign or the charity’s overall work.

Communications Team of the Year – Midlands Air Ambulance Charity

What is the team’s aim?

Demand for emergency pre-hospital care did not falter during the pandemic. Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s communications team needed to show MAAC's critically important service was still operational, highlight the economic impact of the pandemic on charity fundraising and encourage continued and new support.

What has the team done?

MAAC’s three-person communications team set out to position the charity as a thought leader, providing insight on the pandemic. Media interviews were set up for the charity’s chief executive on the first day of lockdown with the BBC’s Midlands Today, radio and print media. MAAC appeared in four eight-minute Sky News features, showing the new PPE and kit on board the helicopters, while a Critical Care Paramedic filmed user-generated content for the ITV Tonight Coronavirus Heroes programme.

Creative highlighting the fact that the ambulance crew could not work from home was delivered through negotiated free-of-charge outdoor advertising space as well as social and digital media. A dedicated landing page launched the day after lockdown gave easy ways to donate. Topical content, such as a #clapforourcarers video from the helipad at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, led to an increase of more than 180 per cent in social media engagement.
When the charity's biggest annual event, Bike4Life Ride Out and Festival, was postponed, the communications team created a Virtual Ride Out. The majority donated their entry fee, and the charity retained 92 per cent of event income.

What else did the team achieve?

Campaign donations totalled £140,000, which helped fund 140 lifesaving missions. The dedicated Covid-19 landing page drove a 12 per cent increase in clickthroughs to income-generation pages, and donations through the website increased by 90 per cent. Sign-ups to the charity’s Lifesaving Lottery increased by 225 per cent. More than 375 pieces of pandemic-related coverage generated over 395 million “opportunities to see”.

What did the judges say?

“Really impressive results from a small and new team, with significant increases across all the metrics, and across multiple audiences.”

Highly commended

  • British Red Cross


  • Ashgate Hospicecare
  • Climate Group
  • Racing Welfare
  • The Children's Hospital Charity
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