Raising awareness of an epic fundraising challenge

Dan Smith’s Paddle of Britain

Dan Smith

Army veteran and fitness trainer Dan Smith kayaked the length of Britain to raise funds for the Royal British Legion and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One in 2018. He needed support to raise awareness, encourage engagement and secure donations.

What we delivered

We worked with Dan from the ground upwards to craft a brand identity for the challenge – dubbed the “Paddle of Britain”. This brand was then launched via a campaign website which provided information and updates on the challenge itself, encouraged visitors to donate to the fund, and also included a “Wishlist” section where those who wanted to support Dan even further could contribute to purchasing vital equipment for the journey.

The centrepiece of the website was a dramatic promotional video, shot on location with Dan in the Lake District – featuring underwater Go-Pro filming – and brought to life by our video production team. This video was integral to the entire campaign activity, and was also used extensively by news outlets during their coverage of the campaign.

We created social media channels for use throughout the campaign, and drove significant engagement and shares by keeping the audience constantly updated with vlogs from Dan, pictures, a live map of his journey, key statistics updates (such as total miles covered, miles per day, hours travelled) and live Q&As.

Our PR team secured national and regional media coverage for the challenge, with Dan appearing on Sky News, ITV News, BBC Radio 2, BBC Look North, Granada Reports, Tyne Tees News and various BBC Local Radio; as well as print coverage in the Daily Express and assorted regional titles.

The results

Our support helped Dan:

  • Raise his target of £25,000 from over 500 supporters through Just Giving on top of direct fundraising
  • Gain traction on social media initially through his film being widely viewed and shared on Facebook (25K views, 11K shares)
  • Build an engaged online community of over 1500 supporters on Facebook and Twitter
  • Establish him as a record-setting, ultra-endurance popular figure – he’s now taking bookings for motivational and mental coaching talks from a range of businesses.