Aside from huge financial losses, many charities have struggled over the past year to secure media coverage on subjects such as research and fundraising, due to the news agenda being dominated by COVID-19. For Alzheimer’s Research UK, such coverage is critical for spreading the word about the charity’s work and improving public understanding of dementia, a condition that affects almost 1 million people across the country.
Founded by broadcast expert Safi Zisman, BF media invited more than a hundred charities to apply for 12 months of around the clock broadcast support at the start of 2021. More than 40 charities applied for the offering, with Alzheimer’s Research UK presenting the stand out proposal and securing BF media as an extension of their press office for a year.
On the inspiration for the philanthropic offering, Zisman said:
“If there is one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s that we all have a role to play. BF media was set up to make a positive impact in every way we can, whether that’s our service, our people, our industry or the society we live in.
“Once we get through the pandemic, dementia is going to be the biggest health crisis we face in this country. That, coupled with the professionalism and enthusiasm Alzheimer’s Research UK showed through the application and proposal process, meant choosing to support their efforts for 12 months was an easy decision.”
An agency that was formed during the pandemic, BF media has committed to working with a minimum of one pro bono client each year and will donate 1% of the agency’s profits to that client at the end of each financial year.
The inspiration behind the philanthropic focus remains clear and simple, Zisman adds: “Honesty and altruism sits at the heart of everything we do. Knowing you are giving something back every day has an incredibly positive impact on staff morale and mental wellbeing”.
Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity, and before the pandemic started, was one of the fastest growing medical research charities in the UK. Known for its bold awareness campaigns including #ShareTheOrange, featuring Hollywood A-listers such as Samuel L. Jackson, the charity challenges long-held misconceptions about dementia and funds cutting-edge research into diagnosis, prevention, treatments and cure.
Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“Dementia is caused by physical diseases, most commonly Alzheimer’s. Sadly 1 in 3 people born today will develop dementia in their lifetime unless we bring about life-changing preventions and treatments. But like many charities, COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on some of our key income streams, meaning we’ve had to limit the groundbreaking research we can fund this year.
“Despite people with dementia being hit disproportionately hard by COVID-19, the pandemic made it harder than ever to earn a spot on the news agenda to champion the issues that are important to people with dementia.
“We’re incredibly grateful for the generous support of BF Media and look forward to working with them this year to highlight important stories in dementia and research. If there’s one message that’s cut through more than ever this year, it’s that with the right investment, and recognition of the urgency of a problem, science can find solutions.”