BIG Partnership’s Manchester team was celebrating on Friday night, taking the Gold Award for Best Use of Content at the CIPR North West PRide Awards 2019 for its #speakout campaign with client North West Cancer Research.

Earlier this year we worked with the charity – a long-standing client of BIG’s – to develop a campaign which would raise awareness of head and neck cancer among men aged 50 and above living in the North West of England.

NWCR funds research into cancers which have a disproportionate impact in the North West and North Wales. This region has head and neck cancer rates that are three times the rest of the UK. Our main goal was simple: encourage men – who can be reluctant to go to the doctor – to get symptoms checked, since early diagnosis can save lives.

The key message of our campaign was to encourage men not to stay silent but to #speakout if they noticed any symptoms. We developed a fully integrated communications strategy, including media relations, organic social content, social advertising and influencer outreach around this theme.

Working with local celebrity ambassadors, BIG produced a powerful video, which we promoted across social media and press. Ambassadors included sports stars such as Graeme Sharpe, Warrington Wolves and John Parrot, comedian Dave Spikey and soap star Dean Sullivan.

BBC Radio Presenter Mark Radcliffe became a key ambassador for our campaign, sharing his own personal head and neck cancer story.

As well as securing national and regional news coverage and delivering a social media advertising campaign which reach 50,000 plus men, we’re very proud to say that at least one life was saved.

Our client received a letter from the wife of a man who saw the campaign and went along to his doctor after ignoring his symptoms for some time. Unfortunately, he received a cancer diagnosis – but after early treatment the signs are positive for a full recovery.

Cara Newton, Marketing Manager, North West Cancer Research said: “The reception from the public for the #speakout campaign has been overwhelmingly positive. We have never really had any celebrity endorsements for the charity and BIG developed a vehicle which allowed us to approach and engage with regional celebrities, whose involvement supercharged the campaign.

Sarah Lawless, director of BIG Manchester, added: “NWCR does incredibly important work across the region and backed our idea for the campaign from day one. It’s not often you get to say you’re involved in genuinely life-saving work, so we’re very proud of this campaign.

For more information on NWCR, visit You can also see the video we produced here.

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