The Bingo Association’s Boost Bingo Campaign has been awarded ‘Best Public Affairs Campaign’ category at the PR Week Awards 2014. This doesn’t really come as a surprise as the campaign seemed to come out of nowhere to gather some pretty impressive momentum and support in very little time.
It was only launched in January 2014, but by March 2014 it had achieved it’s outcome, reduction on bingo taxation which was announced by the Chancellor George Osborne. In what would appear to be a direct result of the campaign, taxation of bingo halls was reduced not by 5% as hoped, but by 10% which was a bit of a surprise.
The campaign started at grassroots level with petitions being signed in Bingo Association (BA) members’ clubs across the UK. The petition was eventually delivered to Downing Street with a bit of a fanfare. The petition was also online, allowing members of the public, bingo players or not, to show their support.
The campaign probably became most visible when Members of Parliament from both sides of the house started to show their support officially and by visiting bingo halls. The result of this was much press coverage, with pictures of MPs playing and even calling bingo in local bingo halls.
Luckily for bingo politicians of all persuasions have recently been bending over backwards to distance themselves from the expenses scandal (among others), and also close the distance between themselves and the voter ‘on the street’ (not in the boardroom). In short they have been trying to create a link with the ‘common person’, and what better way to do that than show concrete support for one their favourite pastimes.
So maybe it was a bit of luck involved in the timing of the launch of the bingo campaign and the present political climate. Having said that, hats must be taken off to public relations firm PLMR who worked with the BA. The BA had been trying to make headway with the tax reduction demand for years, but it wasn’t until they changed PR firms to PLMR that things really began to change, and their cause too off properly.
Maybe luck, or maybe a bit of cunning PR, whatever the cause of the change, the result has been that instead of continually writing about bingo closures, lately there has been less bad news to cover, clubs are still closing, but the trend has slowed considerably, and, we are even seeing new openings lately. Well done the Bingo Association and PLMR. Original article.
By: Gareth Whieldon