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Despite an initial flurry of donations for our campaign to raise funds for the Bomber Command Memorial, we were struggling to get press behind the cause after initial interest. We only had six weeks to raise £1.9m, but the press didn’t feel that was urgent enough to warrant mass coverage.
Late on Monday 6th September 2010 we discovered that the Mayor of Dresden was meeting with Boris Johnson that evening to ask that the building of the Bomber Command memorial not go ahead, due to the lasting controversy of the bombing of Dresden during the War.
Knowing this was a story the press would get behind, and that it would also remind the British public about the sacrifice made by Bomber Command, we drew up a statement from the Bomber Command Association highlighting the positive elements of the Memorial.
Sent it to all national news desks and broadcasters and followed up with journalists who had previously covered the story, as well as key contacts developed when planning permission for the memorial was granted in May.
By turning this into an opportunity, we got a huge amount of exposure for the memorial and grabbed the chance to explain that we only had six weeks left to raise £1.9m for the memorial, something the press hadn’t previously felt was strong enough.
Coverage highlights included the front pages of the Daily Express two days running, Daily Mail, Independent, The Times, LBC Radio and The Evening Standard and nearly all of these included links for donations.
In two days, we generated more than 35 pieces of coverage, most of which included a link, reaching over 65 million people.
We went on to form a partnership with The Express who became an official partner of the campaign, raising £1m for the cause.