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Exeter marketing firm takes gold for campaign tackling harassment against women

Bystander Intervention Campaign wins at South West CIPR Awards

A campaign to help tackle harassment against women and girls in Exeter has won a major award.

Exeter-based marketing agency Program saw off competition from around the country at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) PRide Awards for their Bystander Intervention campaign for the Safer Exeter Partnership.

The campaign, run in partnership with the Safer Exeter Partnership, encouraged safe and skillful intervention in harassment situations. It included eye-catching ads across Exeter, along with practical advice displayed at gyms, bars, cinemas, bus stops, and billboards. The initiative also organised intervention training sessions at the University of Exeter, led by experts Dr. Rachel Fenton and Nate Eisenstadt, both of Kindling Interventions. Due to overwhelming demand, extra sessions were arranged promptly.

The campaign saw Program win Gold for ‘Public Sector Campaign’ at the CIPR PRide awards.

Caroline Orr, Marketing Director at Program, said: “We are beyond delighted to have won the award for Best Public Sector Campaign at the CIPR PRide Awards. As a largely female-led team working with positive impact brands, this cause was very close to our hearts. It’s really pleasing that the campaign’s success in supporting the Safer Exeter Partnerships’s vital work has been recognised at this level.”

Community Safety Partnerships are statutory arrangements that bring together councils, police and probation, health and fire services, and others at a local level. Responsibilities can include working to reduce crime, disorder, substance misuse, anti-social behaviour and re-offending.

The two-month campaign featured practical advice to help people who see harassment happening intervene safely, delivered via eye-catching ads at gyms, bars, cinemas, bus stops and billboards across Exeter, along with television and radio interviews and social media. The campaign kicked off with a  projection stunt of the campaign creative on the side of the Topshop building in the city’s main shopping district, Princesshay.

The Safer Exeter Partnership is made up of organisations including Devon County Council, Exeter City Council, Devon and Cornwall Police, University of Exeter, Devon and Somerset Fire Service, Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and community groups, working together to tackle antisocial and criminal behaviour.

Peter Scargill, Director of Commercial, Residential & Campus Services at the University of Exeter and Chair of the Exeter Community Safety Partnership said: “I am delighted that the Program team have won this award for their exceptional campaign. It once again reflects the excellent collaborative working by all of the partner organisations within the Exeter Community Safety Partnership, and has made a hugely positive impact in helping to make our streets safer and benefit the city’s night time economy.”

The CIPR regional PR awards celebrate the work delivered in vibrant PR communities across nine UK regions and nations.

The CIPR judges fed back on the campaign: “A well structured, well-thought-through campaign that effectively tackled a sensitive topic. Clear measurable objectives were produced at the outset and this campaign delivered on every single one.”

The evidence-based campaign was delivered in response to a recent study from UN Women, which found that in the UK, 71% of women have experienced sexual harassment in a public space.* Fenton and Eisenstadt consulted on the campaign content to ensure it aligned with best practices and delivered maximum impact to target audiences city-wide.

Program’s campaign, led by Creative Director Chris Noble and Account Manager Leah Erdbrink, stood out amidst strong competition. Program CEO Dan Pritchard praised the team’s dedication, emphasising the positive impact achieved through effective partnerships.

Dan Pritchard, Program CEO, said: “I couldn’t be prouder of the hard work and dedication of the team. Effective partnerships are hard to achieve, but to develop and implement this campaign, which smashed its targets and had such a positive impact in a short space of time, is testament to the commitment of all the partners to make a real and lasting impact.”

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