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REISA advocates most valuable donation

9 Oct 13

Lisa Stewart, Manager Marketing and Communications at the Real Estate Institute of South Australia, had one very specific goal for 2013… to create a program that would involve every REISA member, and extend beyond to staff, family and friends.

The objective was to use the power of the organisation’s significant membership for the good of the community they serve and at the same time, see the entire real estate industry in the state come together for a common cause.

“While many of our members are well known for their community service and philanthropic practices, the opportunity to do one big task that impacted so greatly on all South Australians was the driving force behind the idea,” Lisa says.

Being aware of other large organisations running an annual ‘blood drive’ such as the SES and the Law Society, Lisa engaged with the Red Cross Blood Service and a plan to roll out a REISA blood donation campaign aiming for 500 litres of blood or plasma over the months of August, September and October.

“From that point on, we brought in a team of communicators with whom we’ve enjoyed working with previously and created a brief for the promotion of the campaign,” she says.

The brief highlighted that the campaign should reflect the energy and enthusiasm of members of the industry and also incite some healthy competition! Marsha Dearden Communications worked on the overall creative strategy and content with Quisk Design producing the visual images and managing social media.

The campaign was given the name REISA Blood Challenge to encourage a sense of competitiveness with the Give a Drop. Save a Life theme line as the motivating statement. Bold visuals and a ‘no holds barred’ attitude to the use of the word ‘bloody’ in copy led to a rather less conservative approach in communication for which REISA was known.

To gain maximum impact for the launch, members were invited to a cocktail party that was planned to ensure no one left without a very strong commitment to the Challenge. Guests were greeted by Billy Blood Drop from the Red Cross Blood Service, encouraged to mix their own Bloody Mary cocktails and compelled to take the REISA

Blood Challenge Oath by none other than Dracula.Real Estate business operators were encouraged to appoint a ‘Blood Hound’ in their office to manage the donation process.Participation kits included posters, brochures, a REISA ‘Blood Hound’s Guide’, social media links and general information from the Red Cross Blood Service.

To date, more than 15 major real estate industry organisations have already donated with many more meeting the challenge of 500 litres before 31 October. Ongoing promotion includes PR in regional areas to support members outside of the Adelaide area and another ‘step up’ in the vein of competition.

“We don’t believe anything quite this confrontational has been presented to the real estate industry before,” Lisa says, “not just in terms of the Challenge itself, but in the directness of the campaign’s communication.

“It’s been a bloody fantastic team effort all round”.