NZME recently helped to raise in excess of $300,000 for children caught up in the Syrian strife through World Vision's 'Forgotten Millions' campaign, which was fronted by journalist Rachel Smalley. And now, the company is turning its attention to another good cause by using all its available channels to raise funds for the RSA in the lead up to the centennial anniversary of Anzac Day.
The campaign is being led digitally via an online content hub on the NZ Herald website called 'Gallipoli 100', which will over the next few weeks feature a series of articles covering the history of the event. Additionally, the campaign is also being rolled out via the Herald, The Herald on Sunday, regional papers, on NewstalkZB and through GrabOne to ensure that the message reaches as many Kiwis as possible.
As was the case with the 'Forgotten Millions' campaign, NZME has set a target of raising $100,000 for the cause. However, if the previous success is anything to go by, then this figure should only serve as the first milestone.
To drive donations, NZME has created a microsite housed at Pinapoppy.co.nz that will from this Friday enable users to donate online or via text to receive a digital poppy, which can then be shared via social media. (On the topic of digital floral executions, Resn developed a campaign for Valentine's Day earlier this year that allowed site visitors to send one-of-kind flowers to loved ones).
“In the same way that people can show their support and wear a poppy badge, we want to allow Kiwis to donate online or via text and showcase their support on social media, in turn encouraging more people to donate to the worthy cause,” says NZME chief executive Jane Hastings.
Donations through the ‘Pin a Poppy Appeal’ will go into the national Poppy Fund, which is used by RSAs across New Zealand to assist veterans, former and current service people and their families in need. Assistance can range from grants for those in financial difficulty, to helping with practical tasks, supplementing healthcare costs, counselling, providing meals on wheels, home maintenance or simply offering friendship and support in times of need or illness.
"It would be wonderful to see poppies blooming right across the web over the next week,” says RSA chief executive, David Moger.
While important, the donation aspect only forms part of the campaign, which the morning editor at the Herald Chris Reed says also aims to inform the public on the loss suffered 100 years ago.
"It's a significant event in New Zealand history and we wanted to report on the sacrifice that many made," he says.
Reed told StopPress that the campaign has been a year in the making, and that approximately 30 people have contributed to it coming to fruition.
Among these contributors is former Weekend Herald editor David Hastings, who has collated a collection of first-person accounts of the tragedy, which will form part of a a commemorative supplement dubbed 'Letters from Hell' that will be released as a magazine next week with an accompanying digital version.
Reed explains that Hastings, who has published two books on Kiwi history, delved deep into the historical catalogues of the Herald to uncover a series of letters and accounts that bring visceral life to experiences of those who were in the trenches.
"There's nothing celebratory about it," says Reed. "It's about the knock-on effects of the conflict that are still being felt today."
And while the series of accounts will have a strong focus on the Anzac contribution, the campaign also acknowledges the Turkish side by dedicating content to soldiers the Anzac forces came up against.
"The Turks actually lost more soldiers than us," says Reed
One example of telling the Turkish side can be found in a video that features an interview with Turkish-born Nejat Kavvas who calls for a tripartite commemoration of the battle that also took a quarter of a million Turkish lives.
"He [Kavvas] has some strong views on the topic, but they also need to be heard," says Reed.
UPDATE: The campaign is also rolling out on Newstalk ZB through a four-part radio documentary series on the history of the Anzacs, which is narrated by Leighton Smith and will play out at 11am on Thursdays from until 23 April (the series started on 2 April).
In addition Newstalk will run a special Anzac breakfast on Anzac day hosted by Jamie Mackay, plus take the ceremony live from Gallipoli in the afternoon. And NZME has also teamed up with Maori TV and will live-stream all three services on Anzac Day across NZME digital properties.
NZME has also announced that it has pledged $20,000 to the 'Pin a Poppy' appeal.