Combat Stress

Raising awareness for a vital cause


Combat Stress


The Situation

PLMR works to support Combat Stress’ in-house communications team to drive awareness of the charity amongst potential donors and Veterans in need of mental health support as well as to advance relationships with key Government departments.

What we did

Over a five-year working relationship, PLMR and Combat Stress have had innumerable successes, with the charity featuring regularly in the national press and in Parliamentary debates. Millions of pounds of Government and public support have been secured, and thousands more Veterans have sought help.

Research by ThirdSector Magazine found Combat Stress was the second most talked about charity in the UK in 2013. Some examples of the projects we’ve undertaken include:

– 95th Anniversary, 12 May 2014 – marking 95 years of providing revolutionary mental health treatment for Veterans.

– The Enemy Within Appeal: A three year, £30 million fundraising campaign.

The Result

The fundraising target was surpassed after two years, while monthly calls to the Combat Stress helpline tripled and visits to Combat Stress’ website increased by 60%.

The average length of time Veterans wait before seeking help was reduced by 10%.

For the 95th anniversary campaign, we achieved:

  • Negotiated a front page exclusive with the Guardian;
  • Placed Combat Stress spokespeople on Radio 4’s Today Programme, BBC Breakfast, Good Morning Britain (ITV), and Sky News. Overall, interviews with Combat Stress featured on every major British broadcast outlet across both radio and TV;
  • On social media, tweets mentioning @CombatStress reached 19 million people;
  • In total, more than 980 pieces of media coverage mentioning Combat Stress appeared on one day – the equivalent of £1.5 million of advertising.

The Enemy Within Appeal saw PLMR:

  • Negotiate a media partnership with The Daily Telegraph group, the benefits of which included guaranteed editorial content, a week long readers appeal, and £100,000 of free advertising;
  • Secure opinion pieces in support of the Appeal by HRH The Prince of Wales, the Rt Hon Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister David Cameron and former Army Chief of Staff Lord Dannatt;
  • More than 9,000 pieces of media coverage mentioning Combat Stress – the equivalent of £18 million of advertising.

PLMR’s work for Combat Stress was Highly Commended in the ‘Best Not-For-Profit Communications’ category at the CorpComms Magazine Awards 2013. Our work was also shortlisted at the Public Affairs News Awards for ‘Best Voluntary Sector’ Campaign in 2012.

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PLMR’s crisis communications experience is second to none, and includes pre-emptive and reactive work across traditional and social media channels. We work with a range of organisations to offer critical communication support when they are faced with difficult and challenging scenarios.