Social & Cause Marketing

Creating integrated thought leadership programmes that champion progress

Many companies today operate Corporate Responsibility Programmes (CSR) that deliver real, positive change in the world. The value a well-constructed CSR programme could deliver first became evident to me as an employee of Reed Elsevier (RELX), both when OAG Worldwide was part of RBI, and later, as an employee of LexisNexis. I was the RE Cares champion for LexisNexis UK, the name of the community aspect of the RELX CSR framework. I remain impressed by the valuable work that LexisNexis continues to do in establishing the rule of law around the world and in combatting human trafficking. As RE Cares champion, I increased the number of volunteering days by LexisNexis’ employees from 350 to nearly 980 in one year.

The Economist Educational Foundation helps school children develop their voice and to equip them with the skills to engage and understand the world around them.I worked with the team at the Educational Foundation to develop a digital and in print advertising campaign to raise awareness of the Foundation and its work. The adverts ran across The Economist’s social media platforms and on, as well as appearing in the UK print edition.

Getting the balance right on how to engage with a cause an organisation believes in is a challenge. It must be an authentic engagement with a cause that is congruent with an organisation’s brand and is communicated sensitively. Getting it wrong will do untold damage to your organisation. Given my experience of managing campaigns for third-sector organisations and positioning businesses as drivers of positive change, I am well-equipped to provide guidance and expertise in this important area.


Scroll through my successes
  • economist

    The challenge

    In June 2015, The Economist launched an editorial campaign that called for the legalisation of doctor-assisted dying. It was my remit to amplify this campaign to The Economist’s readership and beyond, sensitively, yet with impact. The Economist presented both sides of the argument and explained why The Economist supported right to die legislation.

    The solution

    I created an integrated marketing framework through which The Economist would amplify its socially liberal causes it supported, as part of its brand value of driving positive change in the world. In doing so, I utilised content and social media marketing, digital and public relations to drive awareness and the debate on the doctor

    -assisted suicide. Enlisting the help of AMV BBDO and Proximity digital and outdoor assets were created that were then launched to coincide with the vote on doctor-assisted dying legislation in California, Canada, the UK and Germany, running over the period July to November 2015. This activity was augmented by the production of 24 and ready to die, a film from the recently formed, The Economist Films business unit.

    As part of the editorial initiative, IPSOS MORI carried out a consumer survey in sixteen countries to determine the public’s attitude toward doctor-assisted dying. The output helped shape country-specific media relations plans executed through our global roster of PR agencies.

    The result

    Helen Joyce, the editorial lead for this campaign, spoke at The Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney, which was broadcast online and into over a dozen art centres and cinemas around Australia. It was also recorded and promoted across The Economist’s social media platforms. The campaign helped raise awareness and pass legislation in the USA, Canada and France. The marketing programme engaged an audience of more than 7 ½ million and helped position The Economist as a publication that offered more than politics, business and finance stories.

    The outdoor video, Could you live a life like this?, won the gold award at the Advertising Circle Awards.

  • ocean

    The challenge

    The ocean is the largest common resource on Earth. One billion people rely on it as their primary source of protein, and 85% of world fish stocks are over-fished at unsustainable rates. The Economist holds the World Ocean Summit, regarded as the ‘Davos of the ocean’. With my thought leadership remit, I was tasked with creating a social marketing programme that was to generate new content, assisted positioning The Economist as a driver of positive change in the world and reached consumer audiences who would not traditionally associate The Economist with environmental issues.

    The solution

    I constructed a series of marketing initiatives that would simultaneously raise awareness of the plight of the ocean, engage new audiences for The Economist and demonstrate that The Economist is a force for good.

    I approached the US State Department to negotiate The Economist Group’s Canary Wharf office as the London host venue for the 2016 Fishackathon in late April, an initiative created by then Secretary of State, John Kerry. Once confirmed I worked with the State Department, the US embassy in London and Virgin Unite to make the London Fishackathon a success. Working with the customer engagement team a digital marketing plan was implemented that encouraged coders to sign up to the Fishackathon and raised awareness of the issue with the millions of followers of The Economist on social media. A PR strategy was implemented to generate media coverage in the UK and beyond. Additionally, I provided the budget for The Economist Lab to build a VR experience that focused on over-fishing.

    The outcome

    BBC Radio’s Inside Science the following week included a ten-minute report on the London Fishackathon. The winning team, Fishazam, was interviewed and coverage attained in over 30 publications. The digital customer engagement programme engaged with millions of

    The VR experience, Net Positive, became part of The Economist’s experiential marketing programme and was launched at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney where I had worked to secure Miranda Johnson – Environment Correspondent at The Economist –  a speaker slot which provided further content for the customer engagement team. It was also featured during the 54th New York Film Festival.

Charles has a real drive and determination to succeed. 

He used ingenuity in identifying ways to support the company’s corporate responsibility priorities, informed by deep personal passion. He really believes in making a difference in his local and global community.

Marcia Balisciano, Director, Corporate Responsibility at Reed Elsevier

Charles is highly skilled on the digital front and whilst at LexisNexis provided an excellent service for the products used by our members and potential members in the range of print and online compliance titles. I would certainly recommend Charles as an expert in the publishing and events marketing field.

Kelvin Soley, Membership manager of the International Institute of Risk & Safety Management