Men of various ages in a support group

Federation plans to ‘Tackle’ prostate cancer

As was announced at the AGM in May, we have embarked on a “branding” exercise, 
designed to get the Federation recognised as THE Independent Voice of prostate cancer patients. This was identified by Trustees and Members as one of our chief priorities at the Autumn Workshop last November. To help us with this, we were lucky to recruit the pro-bono services of Paul Gray, a PR consultant with long experience in the property market.

Paul explains that “… it was apparent that applying the same criteria to the charity sector as I had done in the property market would not only be productive but actually essential in order to compete in the increasingly demanding voluntary arena.”  Due partly to the economic climate and partly to how marketing-savvy the 21st century is, the same principles pertain – whether to a small charity’s fundraising campaign or to a FTSE 100’s investorrelations initiative. Nomenclature and terminology will vary depending on which trendy consultant or agency you use but, essentially, marketing, communications and business development in any sector is predicated on:

• Target audiences 
• The organisation’s values, i.e. what it stands for and the principles iot holds 
• Mission, value proposition (VP), organising thought or strapline, driven by unique selling propositions (USPs) and track record 
• Vision for the future driven by the mission or VP – less tangible, more abstract, the ultimate destination and for internal consumption

Our challenge was how to sell and communicate a charity whose name, however fondly we are attached to it, is, it must be said, largely unmemorable. As Paul said at the AGM, “the Federation does great work and is well-perceived by its members. However for Rowena to be able to do her job and raise funds and your profile commensurate with your values, mission and vision a new, appealing corporate handle is essential.”  We are aware that our members appreciate the somewhat cosy, club-like, atmosphere conjured up by the name Prostate Cancer Support Federation, and we have no intention of changing that. To our members, we remain a club. But to 
the outside world we need something with more impact:

• The market is highly competitive, we need to stand out, we need to be noticed 
• We need to look good so we can attract supporters 
• We need to attract supporters so we can raise funds 
• We need to raise funds so we can TACKLE PROSTATE CANCER


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