Cancer Research Wales ‘Fifty for Fifty’


Cancer Research Wales (CRW) funds some of the most innovative developments in cancer treatment, early diagnosis and cure anywhere in the world.

2016 marks its 50th anniversary and a series of celebratory and fundraising events were planned.

Effective Communication (EC) was asked to work on a specific 50th anniversary campaign. Key objectives were:

  • Raise awareness of CRW’s major anniversary
  • Raise the profile of CRW as an independent, Welsh charity
  • Create and promote a branded anniversary fundraising theme
  • Encourage individuals, businesses and organisations across Wales to engage with a specific anniversary fundraising drive


  • Achieve national Welsh media coverage for the fundraising campaign launch, in both Welsh and English
  • Secure widespread regional media coverage of anniversary fundraising challenges, both individual and corporate
  • Secure widespread coverage of the CRW patrons’ fundraising challenge


Effective Communication devised the campaign ‘Fifty for Fifty’ – broad enough to target individuals, current supporters, new supporters plus businesses. Essentially, people were asked to do 50 things to reflect the 50thanniversary – bake and sell 50 cakes, cycle 50 miles, swim 50 lengths etc.

EC supported CRW with its 50th anniversary symposium where an extra £1.6million of research funding was to be announced by the chairman. EC advised on the planning, timing of the announcement, and embargoed press release with a focus on gaining broadcast media coverage.

EC sourced bilingual scientific experts on each shortlisted research projects to prepare for potential interviews.

We approached patients for testimonies and interviews surrounding the impact of the research grants, pre-prepared for broadcast coverage.

A range of patrons/celebrity supporters were considered to highlight the campaign and increase awareness to be approached.


Between campaign launch and May 31st 2016 (5 months in)

  • Campaign secured 12 pieces of print coverage, 8 pieces of broadcast and 14 online pieces of coverage had been generated including two Welsh language articles. This equated to 26,504,989 visits per month, 181,737 print circulation and 1,360,500 viewers, plus 3 articles on BBC online which has a visits per month of 593million.
  • Achieved all campaign KPIs including the lead story on BBC Wales Today’s evening news for the research programme grant announcements as well as coverage on Good Morning Wales, Good Evening Wales, Radio Cymru and S4c’s Post Cyntaf programme, throughout St David’s Day – ‘cut through’ to achieve targets even on an extremely crowded media day.
  • The Sahara Golden Trek was covered extensively in the Welsh media, including Western Mail, Wales online, South Wales Echo and a serialised documentary on Made in Cardiff TV.
  • Social media engagement via Julian Macdonald = Twitter followers: 76,400. Facebook followers: 20,454
  • Both Ruth Wignall and Julien MacDonald have since agreed to become official CRW charity patrons.
  • 50th anniversary mentioned in 100% of coverage achieved.
  • To date, five months into the campaign, 25 separate 50 for 50 challenges have been undertaken (so far), with over 100 people (in total) taking part. Fundraising totals can’t be calculated until year end, but the Sahara Golden Trek raised in excess of £23,000 alone.