Killer app: ProCo turns children’s charity work into child’s play

By Rhys Handley, Monday 26 November 2018

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BBC Children in Need (CiN) has now raised more than £1bn to help youngsters worldwide since launching in 1980. A charity push of that scale needs coordination and sophistication, which is evident in its combined use of print and digital communications to recruit fundraisers.

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What was produced?

Across this year’s BBC CiN season, Sheffield-headquartered ProCo produced more than 215,000 individual fundraising kits, tailored to different audiences including early years, secondary school, the workplace and the general public.

Various materials such as brochures, posters, games and stickers were included in each, varying from six to nine components, and each was produced in English and Welsh.

Most of the kits mailed out were produced in advance, although around 33,000 were produced on-demand in response to requests from applicants after the initial distribution.

What did the job entail?

100gsm and 110gsm Essential Velvet and 100gsm Horizon Offset were used for paper-based components, with stickers on 80gsm Graphic semigloss and 250gsm White Peak was used to create a moneybox. All were printed on four- and five-colour RMGT Ryobi LED-UV presses.

Each component required different finishing, with equipment including Polar 155 guillotine, Heidelberg FFH56 Stahlfolder, Horizon StitchLiner, Kama TS74-5 perforator, Heidelberg Cylinder for kiss-cutting and Buhrs BB300 encloser, as well as hand finishing.

What challenges were overcome?

The project was data-intensive, with ProCo receiving individualised data in an Excel file that was processed through Cygnus software for Mailmark and to attribute a unique paying-in slip number to each fundraiser.

Each pack was then given a unique number in print by using Quadient variable data software. These numbers allowed tracking of the funds raised by each kit recipient and tailoring of further digital communications to the individual’s needs and successes.

Technical services account manager Kate Tuckett said: “The main thing we used to overcome any challenges was communication between ourselves and BBC CiN, as well as internally. We had meetings prior to starting the campaign and produced a ‘bible’ for all members of the team to follow.”

What was the feedback?

BBC CiN marketing services manager Sue Holt said: “Our appeal campaign is complicated and demanding, and ProCo are brilliant at managing the detail, and the nuances in the data which make the job unique. 

“We have worked together creating our fundraising packs for the past three years, and each year we develop our approach to make it more efficient, colour accurate and cost effective.”

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