Getting the word out about our Respect the Water campaign

Since the launch of our Respect the Water campaign almost two weeks ago (23 May), we’ve seen some fantastic media coverage of the lifesaving messages, as well as having a great response on social media by the public and from celebrities.
BBC Breakfast filming at Boscombe Beach on the launch day of Respect the Water 2018

Photo: RNLI/Rich Ward

Since the launch of our Respect the Water campaign almost two weeks ago (23 May), we’ve seen some fantastic media coverage of the lifesaving messages, as well as having a great response on social media by the public and from celebrities.

Making sure that our Respect the Water messages are seen by as many people as possible – in particular our target audience of 16-35-year-old men – is so important. This is why media coverage, social media activity and celebrity support helps us to spread the word to save even more lives.

Media coverage highlights

Since the launch we’ve had around 148 pieces of coverage in the media so far for our campaign – a fantastic achievement! Here are the highlights…

We featured in four live broadcasts on BBC News, which included two previews of the ‘float demonstration’ and two live interviews from the beach with Simon Chrisp, Professor Mike Tipton and Ross Macleod – Strategic Marketing Manager at the RNLI. If you missed it, you can take a look here.

A pre-recorded package of interviews and a floating demonstration off Boscombe pier was shown in seven individual regional ITV News programmes, including Meridian and Tyne Tees, while Channel 5 News featured an interview about Respect the Water with Evan and Simon Chrisp from their caravan in Beadnell Bay via Skype.

On the launch day, our spokespeople took part in 22 radio interviews live from the beach. Coverage ran across national and regional radio, including BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast, BBC Radio Solent, Spark FM and Wave 105.

Our activity for the campaign went live on Friday 1 June in Ireland, with PR activity to follow. The messages have been shared across cinema screens, national and regional radio, billboard posters, social media and a new partnership with Pundit Arena.

Social media highlights

Within the first 24 hours of the campaign our ‘Float to live’ video was viewed almost 200,000 times across all of the RNLI’s social channels. Also, more than 1,200 people added the ‘float to live’ profile frame to their Facebook account – if you were one of them, thank you as this helps to increase awareness of our key survival message.

Just over a week after the campaign launch, we had reached 1.3M people on Facebook and that number keeps growing! Between the Float to Live and brand new How to Float films, we’ve now racked up an amazing 1.3M views across all our social media channels. And the profile frame has been used a fantastic 3,000 times. If you haven’t had a chance to add it to your Facebook profile picture, then please log in to Facebook, visit this link and search ‘RNLI Respect the Water’.

In the first week of the campaign on Twitter, #FloatToLive and #RespectTheWater were mentioned a combined total of 6,300 times. Please keep using the hashtags whenever you post about water safety this summer to keep the momentum going.

Celebrity support

The influence of our celebrity ambassadors this year has helped to spread the float to live survival message to an even wider audience.

We’ve had support from a lot of celebrities, including: Ant Middleton, Becky Adlington, Bear GryllsChris Jarvis, Gail Porter, Hugh Fearnley-WhittingstallJane Devonshire, John Challis, Keri-anne Payne, Mark Fox, Monty Halls, Neil McManus, Ross Edgley, Sharron Davies MBE, Shirley Robertson OBE, Simon Gregson, and Simon Thomas.

So far we have had 23 tweets and retweets from our celebrity supporters. The estimated reach of these tweets about the Respect the Water campaign is over 220,000 people – a fantastic number!

You can help support the campaign too…

It’s not just celebrities who can help us by supporting the campaign – your help is needed too.

To help you spread the word about Respect the Water, please take a look at the resources that are available to download – such as posters, videos, social media graphics, and our radio adverts that you can access here

Starting a conversation with your friends, family or the public doesn’t need to be hard. Simply by sharing a post on your social media account, you can help us reach even more people this year.

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in spreading our vital waters safety messages. We also want to say a big well done to the teams who have worked so hard to secure the coverage listed above – we hope that this will all help to reduce the number of lives lost in and around the water.