Bernie Banton AM was a passionate and tenacious campaigner, advocate and public face for asbestos related disease (ARD) sufferers in the fight for justice and compensation throughout the 2000s.
The Bernie Banton Foundation is an apolitical, not-for-profit organisation founded in 2009 by Bernie Banton’s widow, Karen Banton, which builds on Bernie Banton’s legacy of supporting sufferers of asbestos related diseases and their loved ones.
The Bernie Banton Foundation’s Mesothelioma and Asbestos Related Support (MARS) Australia Network offers peer-based support services, awareness and education, referral and advocacy for those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer or another asbestos related disease (ARD), their carers, immediate family members and the bereaved.
The Marketing Challenge
Bernie Banton passed away from mesothelioma cancer on 27 November 2007. To commemorate Bernie and reflect on his legacy a decade on, the Foundation decided to hold an event on the 10-year anniversary of his passing to engage politicians, business people, sponsors and donors. The goal was to raise awareness of the continued risks of asbestos exposure, build brand awareness of the Foundation and engage potential donors and sponsors.
To build brand awareness of the Bernie Banton Foundation with target audiences and raise awareness of the continued risks of asbestos exposure, Green Door Co recommended a targeted public relations campaign, leveraging the 10-year anniversary of Bernie Banton’s passing. The strategy included developing key messages and Q&As, developing a campaign media release, targeted media pitching, briefing and preparing spokespeople for interviews including Karen Banton and former politician Greg Combet AM, managing media at the 10-year anniversary event, and managing all media interviews.
We also developed the keynote speech that Karen delivered at the event. This involved interviewing Karen to identify what she wanted to get across and her tone of voice, and drafting a speech that struck the right balance between remembering Bernie, acknowledging those who were part of Bernie’s fight including the politicians in attendance and reminding people that the fight for asbestos disease sufferers isn’t yet over.
Through a result of our targeted media outreach we were able to secure the Bernie Banton Foundation over 100 pieces of media coverage across TV, print, radio and online. This included high profile targets such as The Australian, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, the Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun and news.com.au. Karen Banton also featured in live interviews with ABC News Breakfast and 2GB radio. The speech was also very well received at the event.
As a result of the campaign, the Bernie Banton Foundation was able to capture the public’s attention, create a conversation about the risks of asbestos exposure and raise awareness and funds for the Foundation.