NHS Organ Donor Register Passes 16 Million Mark

On 22nd January 2009, The number of people registered on the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR) reached the 16 million mark, passing the target set in 2001 by the Health Secretary, Alan Milburn, to double the then eight million people on the ODR by 2010.

NHS Blood and Transplant asked markettiers4dc to maximise TV, radio and online coverage around the success of the long-running campaign to boost ODR numbers and further promote awareness of the need for more registered donors.

markettiers4dc offered broadcasters NHSBT interviewees and transplant units to film in, plus 13 highly researched key case studies to feature in every TV news package and a large number of radio interviews. A week-long briefing process ensured as many broadcasters as possible would air the ODR website URL, phone and text numbers.

15 television interviews were set up with seven real life case studies, 9 interviews with the NHSBT CEO and 5 further interviews were set up with other NHSBT spokespersons. From those interviews a total of 60 items of coverage reached a direct audience of over 20 million people. The equivalent TV advertising value was £666,650. BBC Breakfast covered the story 7 times: BBC1's One O'clock News ran a major package and interviewed live the NHS' new 'Transplant Tsar'. A massive 15 regional TV stations also covered the story.

186 items of Radio coverage were secured, which ran across stations with a combined potential reach of 44.31 million people and worth £255,960 in equivalent radio advertising spend. NHSBT spokespeople and case studies did interviews with a total of 40 radio stations, almost all from markettiers4dc studios, including Radio 5 live, IRN, Sky News Radio, the Kiss Network, Kerrang, BRMB, Smooth and 15 local BBC stations.

Online coverage was achieved across 28 sites which covered the story worth £82,896 in equivalent online advertising spend. ITN, Yahoo, Virgin Media, AOL, MSN and Tiscali all ran major video packages to supplement their news reports, while the following ran online news reports: BBC, Radio 1, Newsbeat, ITV News, Channel 4 News, The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Express, The Daily Star, Metro and Net Doctor.

The story had limited press coverage on 22nd January, but on that day alone NHSBT witnessed the following: 450% increase in visitors to the ODR website, 500% increased in page views, and, crucially, 1224% increase in people registering as donors online compared to 21st January.

12,069 people visited and 7,239 registered on the site vs. 2,685 and 591 the day before. Almost 60% of people visiting the site registered as donors vs. 22% the day before. There was a 670% increase in calls to NHSBT phone line and the second biggest daily response to NHSBT's text registration channels.

“Working with markettiers4dc we managed to make organ donation one of the main stories of the day. The coverage generated was a well-deserved tribute to all those who have joined the Organ Donor Register and helped inspire many more to make the pledge.”

Maxine Walter, Head of Media and PR, NHSBT