Case Study: Virgin Money

PR Success Story: Charity Event Reputation Management


Virgin Money tasked Red Ribbon to provide media relations support of their charitable initiative that gave three talented South African athletes from underprivileged communities the chance to participate in the 2013 Virgin London Marathon. This initiative is part of an on-going commitment to creating meaningful change in the lives of South Africans.

Over and above being one of the most popular fixtures on the global marathon calendar, The Virgin London Marathon is also the world’s largest charity event. Thousands of participants from around the globe are encouraged to run in support of a chosen charity, with this forming an obligatory condition of entry.


Red Ribbon decided on a phased media relations approach for maximum impact. The first phase included the announcement of the initiative, then we profiled the runners and lastly we highlighted the marathon results.

Compelling messaging was crafted and story angles were pitched according to different key audiences. This approach garnered a steady increase in print, broadcast and online coverage during the 16 week media outreach. Print exclusives sparked conversations on social media which was soon trending.

TV, radio stations and national daily newspapers across South Africa carried the story, hitting a total of six exclusive interviews with the athletes.


• A total of 29 pieces of coverage across print and online and broadcast publications such as News24, Timeslive, Drum and Runner’s World magazine.
• Six exclusive interviews with top tier media outlets such as eTV Morning Sunrise breakfast show, Sport24 and Sarie women’s magazine.