PR Case Study: Palmer & Harvey – Delivering Hope

MHP is helping Palmer & Harvey, the UK’s largest delivered wholesaler, put the sides of its beige delivery vans to good use by transforming them into mobile billboards for missing persons’ charity Missing People.

MHP launches Delivering Hope

Nicki Durbin, whose son Luke has been missing since 2008

Campaign: Delivering Hope
Client: Palmer & Harvey
PR Team: MHP
Timing: May 2017 – May 2019

Summary

As the UK’s largest delivered wholesaler, Palmer & Harvey works with more than 90,000 retail outlets and employs almost 4,000 people. It felt blighted by the fact that their beige delivery vehicles seemed to go unnoticed despite covering every postcode in the UK.

To remedy this problem, the company enlisted MHP to spearhead a new corporate social responsibility initiative to do something positive for the communities it serves.

Strategy

Sometimes PR is as simple as making the best possible use of the assets you have to work with. In this case we saw the issue of P&H’s ubiquitous but unseen beige vehicles as an opportunity – and a blank canvas to work with.

Taking that lead, our idea was to put the anonymity of P&H’s vans to good use, utilising the space in partnership with the Missing People charity. An estimated 250,000 children and adults go missing in the UK each year – and Missing People helps find them and supports families as they wait for news of loved ones.

This campaign is more than just a PR stunt for P&H. We brought the company together with Missing People and affected family members like Nicky Durbin, whose son Luke has been missing since 2008.

P&H CEO Tony Reed has now committed to a £1million fundraising target over the next three years. Missing People will then be able to distribute any funds raised to the areas they are needed most.

“The Delivering Hope campaign allows us to use our extensive delivery network to help this hugely inspiring cause,” said Martyn Ward, P&H MD. “To our customers, what matters is inside the vans. Yet, the exterior is effectively a blank canvas that could be used to grab people’s attention and help those in the communities we serve.”

Results

While this campaign will draw attention to P&H’s fleet of delivery vehicles, its primary purpose is to help reunite as many people as possible with their missing loved ones.

P&H announced the campaign in their trade publication The Grocer on Tuesday, May 16. Since then, the story has been featured on Channel Five news’ prime time 6:30pm news slot and on Heart FM’s breakfast news bulletins across the South West.

Over the three-year duration of this campaign, both MHP and P&H will continue to work to raise as much awareness as possible for Missing People and the vital work they do.

Jo Youle, CEO of Missing People, said: “The new Delivering Hope campaign will be instrumental in helping us extend the reach of our publicity appeals and we really hope it will play a role in reuniting missing people with their loved ones.”


Would you like to showcase your latest campaign success on Gorkana? If so, please email solomon.radley@gorkana.com.

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