How Montfort helped The Great Christmas Get Together reach millions

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“Working with the Montfort team was a joy. They quickly got to know our team and our way of working, which made it easy for us to trust them with our key digital channels. Their responsiveness, positivity and understanding of how an effective campaign runs meant that we were able to achieve fantastic things together.”

What is The Great Get Together?  

The Jo Cox Foundation, and subsequently The Great Get Together, was founded after the murder of the MP Jo Cox by a far-right terrorist while she was on a constituent visit. Jo had dedicated her life to serving her community and promoting kindness, compassion and equality.

Jo’s murder created a wave of grief across the country, but also a surge of positive action to create something positive out of the tragedy of her death.

When she was killed she was working to address loneliness in our communities, as well as speaking up against divisive politics and media rhetoric which emphasises our differences and incites conflict.

The Great Get Together aims to continue this work by encouraging people to come together and celebrate friendship, our shared humanity and Jo’s life.

The Challenge

The Great Get Together approached Montfort to run their Christmas campaign.

The celebrations in June 2017 broke records as the largest series of neighbourhood celebrations since the Jubilee, with 9.3 million taking part. Feedback from supporters was that they wanted to repeat it in 2018, but the small team of staff at The Great Get Together felt it was important to retain momentum amongst their supporter base with a Christmas campaign too.

The Jo Cox Foundation wanted to develop a concept which embodied the principles of the original Great Get Together, but with much lower resource and time available, it needed to be far simpler and easier to take part in.

They settled on the idea of #MincePieMoments, which would encourage people to use the excuse of a mince pie, and the festive season in general, to get together or simply make conversation with someone they wouldn’t otherwise.

The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness was also launching the findings of a year-long investigation into the causes of loneliness, which this activity should also support.

In summary, their key objectives were:

  • Encourage people to make contact with someone they wouldn’t otherwise
  • Greater awareness that loneliness is a problem and that it affects a wide range of people
  • Continued brand awareness of The Great Get Together
  • Promote the Jo Cox Loneliness Commission’s findings

The Approach

The Montfort team’s flexible and friendly approach meant that, on the client’s request, we were able to integrate ourselves into the team and take the lead on multiple projects with confidence.

Members of the team attended meetings in person and joined in weekly team calls with permanent members of staff management, PR, comms and strategy.

As a team, we were able to bring expertise not just in our specific fields of digital marketing strategy, but the charity sector in general. This meant we were able to anticipate audience needs and develop effective content and contingencies which agencies without this specialism would have missed.

Montfort put together a digital strategy which consisted of:

We also were responsible for the day to day community management which was needed following the increased attention on the organisation's digital channels.

In practice, this included:

  • Weekly Facebook, Twitter and Instagram content scheduling based on guidance and feedback on the brand’s tone of voice. This included partner and original content.
  • Responding to comments and queries across all digital channels including email.
  • Management of paid Facebook advertising in partnership with colleagues in Facebook’s partnerships team.
  • Production of video content, both with a separate video agency and in-house.
  • Development and re-design of the existing website in preparation for the Christmas campaign.
  • Planning and writing email marketing around key campaign moments
  • Weekly reporting and final project evaluation

The Results

The client was extremely pleased with the results of the campaign, which were delivered on target and on schedule.

The final evaluation of digital activity concluded that:

  • 208,000 people took part in #MincePieMoments
  • 4,500 people shared the #MincePieMoments hashtag
  • 4,000 people downloaded our ‘How to’ guide
  • 2.5 million people watched our videos
  • 93% of people said they felt more connected to their community after taking part.

Our campaign activity also provided a foundation on which The Great Get Together team were able to amplify their message through some of the UK’s most popular public figures, including Stephen Fry, Delia Smith and Bill Nighy.

The #MincePieMoments digital activity was also fully integrated with print and broadcast media of the campaign. In particular Jo Cox’s sister Kim’s appearance on BBC Breakfast was extremely popular with The Great Get Together’s online audience.

Our favourite #MincePieMoments

We also heard some touching stories on social media and through the campaign evaluation that showed the campaign really resonated with its audience, and most importantly made a difference in their lives.

“What was most memorable was the change in people’s demeanour when they opened their doors. Initially nervous and suspicious, once they heard what we were doing and why, their expressions changed to warm smiles and friendly chat, it was wonderful.”

“A young man who had tried to kill himself said he felt alive for the first time and thanked us for giving him hope”

“An elderly gentleman told us how he now doesn’t feel so lonely and has a door to knock on if he needs anything”

Just back from a fabulous #MincePieMoments with my neighbour. In just one hour I learnt so much about her. We'll continue our chats with dinner next time. Thanks @great_together#tackleLoneliness She might let me take a pic then? pic.twitter.com/YkEfISwZdV

— Janet MacLennan (@janetSnapCare) 20 December 2017

Lovely #HangingHeaton School #Christmas service today.. also some wonderful #MincePieMoments with 3 housebound friends today - pic is Harold who broke his neck earlier this year & the packed school service... @great_together#GodWithUspic.twitter.com/GSTXdHyjKi

— Mark Umpleby? (@MarkUmpl) 22 December 2017

*Video created in-house by Montfort.

And we’re not finished yet!

Perhaps the best measure of how well the partnership between Montfort and The Great Get Together team worked, is the fact we have continued to support them as they prepare for their big Summer event on 22 – 24th June 2018.

We’ll be sure to let you know how that goes too.

Contact Montfort about your next digital campaign


MomentsBen Matthews