It’s all about the R’s
Resilience. A few years ago, I was on the Board of an NHS Hospital Trust and sat on an interview panel for a senior appointment. The external NHS panellist spent all his question time probing the issue of the candidate’s resilience. Afterwards I asked him why when there were so many other areas and angles to cover. He was steadfast – at the level we were appointing all roads led to resilience.
Purple Tuesday has needed resilience in bucket loads this year. It has been an extremely successful initiative – the flagship for Purple – supporting organisations across all sectors and all sizes on practical approaches to improve the customer experience for disabled people and their families. These practical improvements have been shared through videos, case studies and resource materials, all of which are free for organisations to view and implement. And the vast majority of changes implemented have required little financial investment. Examples include painting Purple pathways from accessible parking bays into a shopping centre, implementing additional signage on accessible toilet facilities to reinforce ‘not every disability is visible’, to the adoption of the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme providing discreet support to those customers with hidden or invisible disabilities.
Purple Tuesday was ready to literally take off this year. The strength of the brand drove the decision to work with one strategic partner – a common method to accelerate growth and provide the funding to do so. We were ready to launch….. and then lockdown happened.
Four months on the landscape has changed, and we have had to adapt accordingly. Marketing budgets have been slashed and external expenditure has been paused. The need to demonstrate a return on investment has been magnified.
Social media works for Purple Tuesday. Purple Tuesday works well for social media. Last year Purple Tuesday achieved a reach of over 13 million people and trended worldwide on Twitter alone at #3. There were over 8,500 conversations that included #PurpleTuesday and over 130 items of media coverage including extensive national broadcast slots. Zoom will replace the TV studio this year. A set of numbers to prick the ears of Marketing departments wishing to differentiate their brand and re-position or reinforce their relationship with the customer.
In a small organisation you need to be an all-rounder. The butcher, baker and candlestick maker. You also need to know your limitations and seek the necessary expertise from elsewhere. My marketing module from an MBA 15 years ago only takes me so far. I am indebted to Duncan Tanner, a Communications and Marketing expert and committed to disability inclusion, for his frank advice and insight in reaching out to a new audience, for me and Purple Tuesday.
The partnership offer is now more reflective of the Purple Tuesday brand. The fee is at a level which is more inclusive to all and affordable. The opportunity provides a platform for the partners to share their disabled customer journey with the overriding message being one of progress, rather than best practice. The latter creating all sorts of potential risks to reputation and counter-productive to the objective.
Duncan was clear. All organisations want to demonstrate their disability inclusion credentials. The social and economic debates have been won. For Marketing and Communications departments, it is more about how you bring disability inclusion to life, and for Purple Tuesday, are there accessible assets to be used rather than being created from scratch. There is now, including a website banner, exclusive social media templates and a presentation slide deck for the Marketing and Communications team or relevant individual.
Please share with the relevant individual in your organisation who might not ordinarily read my posts or know about the potential of Purple Tuesday.
4 August 2020