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The Power Of Positive PR: Captain Tom’s Story

We are all crying out for positive news at the moment.

The world is rather bleak right now, and it’s very easy to feel consumed by negative news and want to switch off from it entirely. Subsequently, most media outlets are desperate for buoyant stories.

It’s a truly strange time to be a PR, because in one sense it seems peripheral to pitch stories that aren’t in any way related to the current situation, but on the other hand we’re being repeatedly told that positive stories offer the escapism that the media, and the public thereafter, are craving.

The solution? Finding stories that are topical to the Covid-19 situation, but that also shine a light on it so to speak. Something that doesn’t seem completely irrelevant, but that also doesn’t  make you want to stop the world and get off.

I can think of no better example to illustrate this than the story of Captain Tom, the soon to be 100-year-old army veteran who has raised – or should I say, continues to raise – an incomprehensible amount of money for our NHS.

His tale, as well as being an utterly brilliant one, really demonstrates the impact that positive PR can have; particularly in these strange an unprecedented times.

Captain Tom Moore: Our Modern Day Hero & His Fundraising Story

There’s little more I can think of that would lift the spirits more than Captain Tom Moore’s fundraising story.

The 99-year-old army veteran is aiming to walk 100 lengths of his back garden before he reaches his 100th birthday at the end of the month.

Captain Tom Moore Fundraiser

To date, he’s raised over £7 million for NHS Charities Together (though I don’t doubt that by the time I post this blog, it’ll be even more). The charity he is raising funds for is a collective organisation that supports the work of NHS’ official charities.

The captain’s initial target was to raise around £1,000. This was achieved within 24 hours.

At the time of writing, the exact amount of money raised for our NHS by Captain Tom is £7,657,415 (1531% of his revised target of £500,000 and 765741% of his original £1000 goal).

Screenshot 2020-04-15 at 16.36.02

The Power Of A Good Story

Captain Tom Moore’s story was aired on Good Morning Britain a couple of days ago, where Piers Morgan (who’s strangely gotten a lot more tolerable in the past few weeks) donated £10,000. He later tweeted that Captain Tom Moore has “single-handedly galvanised Britain into raising cash for NHS heroes”.

Since Mr. Moore’s television debut, he soared past his original goal and hit his first million in the way of donations. I don’t think any of us expected that in the few days following he’d have smashed this figure as much as seven times over.

The media simply cannot get enough of this story, and with every article published, and every tweet sent, more and more money is piled into the fundraising pot.

Furthermore, the story is so widely covered that just typing in ‘Tom’ into Google will return a myriad of by-the-minute updated news articles on this now-famous fundraiser.

Perhaps the most famous in the world.

Screenshot 2020-04-15 at 16.26.45

What this proves is just how impactful an optimistic story can be, supported with the right press positioning of course.

PR is instrumental in making things like this happen.

This certainly isn’t the first time that we’ve seen the lives of both brands and individuals changed for the better following virality. See: Petersfield Bookstore’s story or Callum Manning’s story for two (very uplifting) examples.

All you really need is a fantastic story, to make the media aware of it, and then the rest – as they say – is history.

You can donate to Captain Tom’s fundraiser, and be a part of history in the making, here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tomswalkforthenhs

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