Dry July raises $1 million for cancer charity

Dry July Foundation

The brief

Dry July is an annual campaign run by the Dry July Foundation, encouraging individuals to give up alcohol for the month of July and have friends and family sponsor them to do so. All money raised goes towards Look Good Feel Better, a New Zealand charity that supports individuals going through cancer treatment.

Wright Communications was tasked with seeding stories about Dry July to New Zealand news and social media, championing the message that Dry July is about more than just giving up alcohol – it’s equally about raising money and awareness for those going through cancer treatment, a process that has touched the lives of all New Zealanders in one way or another.

The Wright approach

Wright Communications took a holistic approach to this campaign, pouring equal time into traditional media coverage and social media/online coverage.

Wright Communications pitched to long-lead media starting in March, including NADIA, Good Health & Wellbeing, Healthy Food Guide, MINDFOOD, NZ Woman’s Weekly, NZ Woman’s Day and NEXT magazines. Pitching content included information on beneficiary Look Good Feel Better, highlighting specific case studies of patients who have participated in the charity’s classes.

Mid and short-lead media pitching to online publications like Fresh, Health Central, Newshub, NZ Herald, and Stuff commenced in May, securing several journalists to participate in Dry July themselves and write multiple articles throughout the month of July about their experiences. Radio outlets like Newstalk ZB, Magic Talk, More FM, George FM and The Breeze were all pitched to with Dry July content and the opportunity to interview Clare O’Higgins, General Manager of Look Good Feel Better. All of these radio outlets took this opportunity, creating excellent content for both Dry July and the charity it supports.

Broadcast coverage for Dry July was received on The AM Show and The Project, supported by social posts from both outlets on their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages, which have very large followings.

Wright Communications organised Dry July media kits to be sent to 20 media and influencers, all of whom were either participating in Dry July themselves or were keen to support the campaign. The media kits were “mocktail” themed, and invited recipients to make their own mocktails with the ingredients provided. Wright Communications secured product donations from Seedlip (non-alcoholic gin) and Greenleaf Organics (organic switchels) for this send out, minimising the cost to the client.

The outcome

The Dry July 2019 campaign was the most successful yet, with a record-breaking $1.2 million dollars raised for Look Good Feel Better – an 83% increase on 2018’s total of $653,734.00. In 2018, Dry July had 6,126 participants, compared to 2019’s impressive total of 8,379 – a 36% increase. Media reacted very positively to the news of a record-breaking year, with articles published on NZ Herald, Newshub, Stuff.co.nz, The Gisborne Herald, Timaru Herald, Waipa Post, Bay of Plenty Times, and many more. The news was also talked about extensively on radio stations More FM, Magic Talk and The Breeze Auckland, and mentioned as a trivia question on TV 2’s comedy show “Have You Been Paying Attention”.

Overall, the Dry July campaign in New Zealand garnered 72 pieces of coverage placed by Wright Communications, and a reach of over 7,000,000 – calculated from the reach of all outlets where coverage appeared.

The media kits were extremely well received, with 18 out of 20 influencers/media who received it posting about it in some capacity – a 90% success rate. Engagement on influencer’s social posts was high, generating discussion around the motivations behind the campaign and introducing the narrative that Dry July is about raising money for those with cancer – an element of the campaign many did not realise existed.

Telling the Dry July story on social media as well as through traditional news media platforms reached people of differing ages, genders, cultures and socio-economic statuses, so that Dry July messages were received by a wider range of New Zealanders than ever before.

"The team at Wright Communications are a pleasure to work with and have helped us achieve fantastic outcomes for our campaign. They have really understood the strategic direction of the campaign, incorporating this into their strategy, and always striving for the best outcomes." Katie Evans
General Manager, Dry July Foundation

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