PR team on board, Schools Project takes off, and more retailers pledge support for GCA’s TOYW
There are big things on the horizon for Thinking Of You Week 2022, which takes place 19-25 September, as the GCA’s campaign to use greeting cards to create a wave of love, caring and happiness takes on a much broader reach.
Now with PR experts on board, consumer competitions have been set up with Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping magazines, they’re engaging with hundreds of vloggers and bloggers.
The GCA’s Schools Project, previously announced on PG Buzz, already has 56 schools in Ghana and 17 in the UK committed to participating in the initiative which will see thousands of primary school children writing cards to each other in the third week of September and sending them to their peers in the other country.
And the list of leading retailers, publishers and organisations who are looking to support TOYW this year is growing by the day with Royal Mail, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Co-Op and House Of Cards among those already putting their promotional plans in place.
In one of the GCA’s most ambitious projects to date, the Schools’ Project for Thinking Of You Week is being masterminded by Adriana Lovesy, the industry association’s membership and marketing coordinator.
As part of this, special cards have been designed by Lottie Simpson for the UK pupils to send, while Afrotouch’s Georgina Fihosy has designed one for the Ghanaian pupils. Around 7,000 of each card design have just been printed by St Albans-based Graphite Creative as its generous contribution to TOYW 2022, and Adriana was on hand to see them coming off the press on board donated by G.F Smith with the envelopes given by Enveco.
“The Graphite team are amazing,” Adriana told PG Buzz, “and it was great to be there to see the cards designed by Lottie and Georgina coming off the presses, knowing that they will soon be sending messages from children in Ghana to those in the UK and vice versa.”
Adriana’s connections in Ghana have already forged links with 56 schools, each with 100 pupils, while 17 UK primary schools have joined the TOYW initiative in the UK – and the GCA is hoping industry folk will encourage their local schools to join in by downloading and sharing the presentation on the association website, which gives all the information and details on how to register.
A shipment of cards is being sent to Ghana next week, along with 4,000 pens that Ohh Deer has donated for the pupils to use to write their greetings.
“We were really keen to support this incredible project and we were delighted to be able to offer the pens for the children to use in Ghana,” said Ohh Deer’s co-founder and managing director Mark Callaby. “Card sending and receiving is always very special and being able to link up during a Commonwealth Games year is even better, with Ghana taking part along with the England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales teams.”
Sarah Selzer and Mark Chapman from PRDirect have been appointed by the GCA to raise awareness of TOYW with the general public and have already been busy setting up a campaign that includes a four-week-long competition on the Good Housekeeping website, running into the week itself, 19-25 September 19-25, with five prizes of packs of cards worth £50 each supplied by Belly Button Designs, UK Greetings, and Paper Salad.
The Cosmopolitan competition is due to run around the same time with 10 prizes of cards donated by these publishers, and the promotions will be hosted on separate areas of the magazines’ websites which have between 1.5million and 2.6m visitors per month.
The team is also reaching out to key lifestyle press contacts and influencers, so are looking for as many publishers as possible to donate cards to make up the press packs, as well as for further competition opportunities.
GCA ceo Amanda Fergusson said: “We are working with PRDirect on getting the Thinking Of You Week message out to the media, including influencers. We’d love as many publishers as possible to be part of this outreach, please send a selection of your TOYW/blank cards (up to 20 cards) to Sarah by August 17.”
The address to send them to is: Sarah Selzer, PR Direct Limited, Linenhall House, 88-90 Watergate Street, Chester CH1 2LR. In case the delivery firm needs a mobile number, it is 07970 672707.
In addition, with all the media and consumer interest that the PR activity and retailer support is likely to generate, Amanda also urges publishers to submit appropriate card designs for the Thinking Of You Week gallery on the GCA’s consumer-facing website as well as relevant news stories that could also be featured. Send these to Adriana on firstname.lastname@example.org.