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How MHP helped #RAF100 become a Twitter trend

As a PR moment flying 100 RAF planes over Buckingham Palace was as high profile as it gets, but the spectacle was supported by a social campaign which also created a genuine national buzz.

It was the culmination of months of PR activity since the start of 2018 to celebrate the RAF’s centenary, under the RAF100 banner.

The key messages included commemorating the history of the RAF, celebrating its work today and inspiring people to support the RAF and/or consider it as a career choice.

The RAF100 comms team, headed by Group Captain Nick Bayley, RAF director of media and comms, brought in Engine Group, with MHP the lead PR agency, to help promote the centenary.

MHP concentrated on inspiring hard-to-reach audiences with limited connections to and understanding of the RAF. These were 16- to 24-year-old women, BAME communities, and young people with an interest in STEM subjects.

Public engagement work was focused on the 100 days starting from 1 April – the date of the RAF’s foundation.

Event-led PR was used to bring the campaign to the attention of the target groups. Examples ranged from getting a group of gamers within the RAF to participate in the Insomnia62 gaming festival at the NEC, Birmingham, to changing the route of an RAF baton relay to ensure it went through places with large BAME communities.

In addition, a social-media campaign was run across the period, celebrating the diversity of people within the RAF with a picture-led approach.

Spectators react to the RAF100 fly past

By the end of last month there had been more than 150,000 separate online mentions of RAF100.

Lee Findell, senior director, MHP, commented: “In nearly 18 years of working in PR, this has been among the best and most inspiring campaigns I have worked on. I am immensely proud of the whole MHP team, who have delivered outstanding results for [clients] who deserve all the accolades they have been receiving for their dedication and service to Britain.”

This article first appeared in PR Week