Samaritans won two PRCA Digital awards

Small Talk Saves Lives picks up PR awards

The success of Samaritans’ Small Talk Saves Lives campaign was recognised at the UK PR and communications industry’s PRCA Digital Awards, where judges gave it the top prize for Best Social Media Campaign and Best Use of Content Marketing at a ceremony in London last night.

Small Talk Saves Lives was developed in partnership with British Transport Police, Network Rail and the wider rail industry, with creative input from the communications agency, Pegasus.

Its centrepiece, Sarah’s Story, is a video shot on a station at commuter time, with an announcer appearing to alert passengers to a suspected suicide. It’s then revealed that the person on the microphone is in fact telling her own story – one of hope and recovery because someone took the time to talk to her. This element also saw the campaign shortlisted for Best Use of Video.

The campaign gives rail travellers the confidence to spot someone who may be at risk of suicide and strike up a conversation with them. That can be all it takes to interrupt suicidal thoughts and start a person on their journey to recovery.

The campaign was launched in November 2018. Research carried out before and after shows that the public is now more likely to act if they see someone who may be at risk.*

Mike Keating attended the awards at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel for Samaritans: “Many people aren’t aware that suicide is preventable, and that suicidal thoughts can be interrupted. Even just a small act, like starting a conversation about the weather, can make a huge difference. 

Sarah’s Story was the big piece of content for the campaign, which reached more than 17 million people on social media, the video was watched by 5.7 million. We created additional content such as tips on spotting someone who may be at risk, starting conversations and different actions for the public to take if they are worried about someone, all backed up by real-life case studies.” 

Mark Smith, head of suicide prevention for British Transport Police, said: “We’re delighted that Small Talk Saves Lives has been recognised. The campaign has been extremely successful and has allowed us to use digital channels to our advantage, and by working in partnership with Samaritans and Network Rail we’ve been able to target messaging specifically and most effectively to key audiences.”  

The campaign has also been nominated for three awards in the Brand Film Festival, which takes place in May.

For further information and interview requests, contact Samaritans’ press team on 020 8394 8300 or press@samaritans.org  

Photo caption: Samaritans’ Small Talk Saves Lives Campaign does the double at the PRCA Digital Awards; Starting a conversation can be all it takes to interrupt suicidal thoughts.

The original campaign launch press pack, which includes the ‘Sarah’s Story’ video, is available at www.samaritans.org/small-talk-press-pack.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  • ** Findings taken from comparisons between survey of 5,000 UK adults by 3GEM Research commissioned on behalf of Samaritans for Small Talk Saves Lives, carried out 6-11 October 2017 and repeat survey 22nd December 2017 to 5th January 2018. Summaries available on request.
  • Find out more about the agency Pegasus  which inspires healthy decisions through creative, inspirational and integrated communications here.
  • Anyone can contact Samaritans in confidence for FREE any time from any phone on 116 123. This number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can email jo@samaritans.org or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.
  • Samaritans is a charity and it’s the public’s kind donations and more than 20,000 volunteers that mean we are always there for anyone struggling to cope. Find out how you can support us at www.samaritans.org/supportus.