Overview of this campaign
Fair Go For The West (FGFTW) was a campaign for Sydney's west, a vast area boasting more than two million people (46% of total Sydney’s readership), and it was conceived to “right a historic wrong”: the gross inequity in resource allocations that has left the western suburbs dramatically underdeveloped compared with the rest of the city.
By any measure Sydney's west is short changed when it comes to funding across all vital funding areas, from health, to education, policing, transport, infrastructure, sports and the arts.
Yet despite being let down by state and federal governments, and despite an age-old stigmatisation of the region and its people, derisively branded 'westies', the west outstands on many fronts: it is an economic powerhouse, the fourth biggest in the nation and is viewed as the sleeping giant of Australia.
Using internal data and research by the Western Sydney Wanderers and GWS, we uncovered key learnings: people in the greater west are fiercely proud of their region and their own achievements; they are aspirational and believe they are neglected by government yet are resistant to paternalism.
These findings were vital in how we crafted and significantly scaled up our campaign into a multi-faceted execution and cross-functional project encompassing Editorial, Marketing, Circulation, Sales, Digital and consumer PR teams.
As a result, FGFTW grew into a three-stage, 58-day campaign:
- A two-week editorial campaign focussed on delivering sustainable, positive changes in order to improve western Sydney living conditions.
- Champion of the West. A grants program which recognised excellence in western Sydney across 13 categories. Grants were $10,000 each.
- A two week tour of western Sydney. This was a whistle-stop tour of tourist and cultural hots spots in the west. Plus eight major events including a youth forum with Premier Mike Baird and a women in business breakfast.
The three campaign elements culminated in an event in western Sydney to celebrate the Champions of the West and award the grants attending by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Results for this campaign
FGFTW surpassed our wildest hopes and expectations. Its success for us in terms of editorial content, branding, commercial outcomes and, most significantly, in recasting the west as a place all of Sydney can be proud of is a testament to detailed planning, exhaustive stakeholder management and unprecedented collaboration.
Partnerships with two key media outlets - the Seven Network and Nova 96.9 - and secured guaranteed daily and nightly coverage and links back to our publications. The campaign was supported cross-platform (desktop website and mSite) and ensured that FGFTW was a dominant topic across Sydney on a daily basis at every hour on every platform.
Changes achieved through our campaign included:
- The historic announcement of a second Sydney airport
- A commitment to build a light rail network in the west
- Establishing regular sittings of the Supreme Court in Parramatta (western city),
- The creation of 1,000 youth apprenticeships with scholarships
- Launching a Commission for Greater Sydney, to be based in Parramatta that will oversee and coordinate city-wide planning and development.
The second stage received in excess of 400 entries which generated not only inspiring stories but also enabled us to shed a fresh, positive light on western Sydney's people.
Finally, the third stage was about having fun. We hired a retro FGFTW Rock Bus and sent our reporters on a 12-day whistle stop tour of the region anchored in eight scheduled events. At the same time we drove traffic onto our site with a highly-engaging reader photography competition that enabled us to reverse publish user-generated content into our mastheads.
In all, the campaign generated $1.4 million in incremental revenue from five corporate partners, 288 pages of News Limited print coverage, 94 TV stories, 94 digital stories, 63 radio stories, more than 500 Instagram posts, more than 1500 Facebook posts and 2000 tweets with a social audience reach of more than 6.5 million.