PR professionals all have one thing in common, they love the work they do! Whether in-house or working for an agency, the fact that PR professionals get to communicate creatively with target audiences; build brands and messaging; and elevate a company’s reputation, as a job, provides great satisfaction. There is huge variety in the tactics a PR professional can use and it’s well-documented “Sex in the City’s Samantha”, that PR involves product launches and champagne, fine food and dramatic art.
There’s a serious side to PR too and it’s this that drives home the importance of our profession and provides gravitas to our working day. PR professionals are tasked with furthering social awareness and driving key change in the community. Behind every great social movement is a PR professional analysing statistics, honing key messages, working out how and when to speak to target demographics, and providing a clear call to action. The success of a serious campaign is very real. In the case of one of KDPR’s long-term clients, yourtown, it can be the difference between someone picking up the phone and asking for help or spiralling into despair.
Our recent work with yourtown has involved a call for greater awareness of suicide, more public education and intervention services for children thinking about suicide. And the key component is we’re talking about children. Children as young as ten! It’s horrifying, it’s scary and it’s very real! People outside of the health sector are unaware of the extent that suicide – thoughts of suicide, making suicide plans and suicide attempts, affects children under the age of 14 years.
yourtown’s recent research found that of young people with lived experience of suicide only 26 percent of children aged 14 or younger received any support or help, compared to 42 percent of those aged between 15 and 19 years of age. And while there are many factors to this occurring, one of the main ones is the lack of recognition of the issue in the younger years – it can be hard for parents to tell the difference between everyday ups and downs and distress that needs professional support.
We’re privileged to be charged with the responsibility of assisting yourtown to call for further research into suicidality in the younger years and to help drive awareness of what yourtown does and how through its Kids Helpline brand, help is available around the clock.
World Suicide Prevention Day is on the 10th September so remember Kids Helpline is a phone call away. Help us raise awareness of this important social issue and ask people how they are going, offer an ear, and direct people to the many good people and organisations out there who can help and provide professional assistance.
At KDPR we’ll continue to analyse statistics, hone key messages, work out tactics, and provide a clear call to action to raise awareness of this alarming issue because this is part and parcel of a PR professional’s day – and one we take great pride in!