The Bowspirit Kids Group has been nominated for the Mynewsdesk Digital PR Award GSA in the category "Best NGO Newsroom". Every year Mynewsdesk honours particularly successful and inspiring PR work with this award in a total of six categories. A selected jury of experts now identifies the winners in the various categories on the basis of a fixed catalogue of qualitative and quantitative criteria.
"We are very honoured by this nomination and are extremely pleased to be considered worthy of an award only four months after our start into the public", founder Michael Speckenbach (49) is happy.
In our news-driven information society, which sometimes also leads to a downright flood of information for editors and senior editors, it is a particular challenge to place charitable projects.
"In this context, it is not an easy task to establish a new brand without having a familiar sponsor in the background and convince the editorial offices of its editorial relevance", Speckenbach sums up. "Commercial players invest millions in brand building. Achieving this with private means requires courage, dedicated partners and creativity."
When the charitable project - as in the case of Bowspirit Kids - breaks completely new ground, ...
- ... by taking action for a clientele that predominantly does not "take place" in the media because the families concerned simply do not have the strength to loudly demand help as they are just happy when they get their seriously ill child halfway through the phase of illness and when they do not completely lose sight of the siblings,
- ... by renouncing distribution areas or national borders in favour of sick children and addressing a European-North American target group, i.e. not being a local project from northern Germany but being locally relevant everywhere, because in every region in Europe and along the North American east coast - as a call to the nearest paediatric medical center shows - potential little guests and their families can be found,
- ... by not sailing in the wake of a major sponsor, because in the long term the existence of the project then would be far too vulnerable financially,
- ... by relying on swarm financing - ten million times a euro is no less than ten million euros - and thus relies on the active participation of all informed editors, because they alone have it in their hands that their readers, listeners or viewers learn about an infinitely important project for the children and siblings concerned,
... then it's best to spray a little "fairy dust" on every communication feature, so that an annoyed "Another news content" in the editorial offices becomes a "What a wonderful vision - I'd like to tell about it".
All this can only succeed if the storytelling is approached again and again from a different perspective, without losing sight of the red string and the big vision.
Asked about the usually limited human resources of non-profit organisations, Michael Speckenbach smiles: "Here Bowspirit Kids have been lucky. First of all, we have a Mastermind and an innovative visionary, a chaos-tested accountant, a humorous legal advisor, an auld communicator, an eloquent storyteller and, last but not least, a life-experienced human potential manager. The latter has warned us that we should be careful so that there will be no split personality." With a twinkle in his eye, he adds: "Everyone therefore simply calls him M-i-c-h-a-e-l."
But Bowspirit Kids know that there is no allrounder who can do everything on his own. So it's no surprise that the best narrative approaches come from the Bowspirit Kids' Board of Trustees.
Who would think, for example, that a professor of ophthalmology would invent a wonderful tagline en passant? Salvatore Grisanti did it: "Bowspirit Kids - We want to turn children's tears into tears of joy" was his idea.
Bowspirit Kids say "Thank you" for this nomination, which is an encouragement for many more beautiful stories, so that sick and traumatised children and youth get the help they deserve from all of us.
A smart person once said, "The best and most inspiring stories lie on the streets and plazas. All you have to do is bend down a little and tell them."
The Bowspirit Kids Group was founded in spring 2018 in Lübeck, Germany. Our activities focus on the creation of a maritime holiday and recreation camp that will give sick and traumatised children and their siblings - often called the "shadow children" - the opportunity to have fun and take a recreation from the illness. To this aim, we want to take advantage of the mobility of a passenger ferry to be able to operate outside of the base location in order to present the Bowspirit Kids Group and its work worldwide and to initiate further projects based on the guiding theme of a "recreation from illness".
The group has two companies - the non-profit company Bowspirit Kids gemeinnützige GmbH (www.bowspirit-kids.org) and the commercially managed Bowspirit Management GmbH (www.bowspirit-management.com), which are intertwined under company law in such a way that the profits generated cannot be distributed to shareholders, but are directed towards the overarching charitable objective.
The Bowspirit Kids Group intends not to base its activities solely on classical donations, but also to raise financial resources through social events and business sponsorships. In the fourth quarter of 2018, the campaign "The world's largest floating pinboard" was launched as kick-off event.