Foods You Can: Free From People’s Choice Awards

Campaign: Free From People’s Choice Awards
Client: Foods You Can
Timeline: September- October 2014


Foods You Can is the number one resource website for free from food comparison, reviews and recipes, acting as an online community and support network for those with food intolerances and allergies.

The website was created in 2009, by founder Bunmi Scott, a 33-year-old mum of two who was taken seriously ill in 2004 with a condition later diagnosed as Neuromyelitis Optica a rare neurological condition that left her unable to eat gluten, wheat, dairy, soya and sugar.

In September 2014 Bunmi appointed MK PR who were given a brief to support her with her 2014 ‘Free From People’s Choice Awards’ a set of national awards which recognise the best in services and products in the free from community.

The Project:

Responding to the brief MK PR set to work creating what is called a ‘critical time planner’ outlining an agreed plan of action, which responded to the overall brief: to create awareness and a buzz around driving traffic to the website.

MK PR got to work on effectively engaging each of the nominees. With over 100 nominees, MK had to deliver the relevant information to each in a concise and ordered way, making them aware of their fantastic nomination, and encouraging engagement on social media and online in regards to the awards.

Once each nominee had been contacted, MK began monitoring and capturing the story on social media, engaging regularly with nominees such as big names Sainsbury’s and Yo Sushi, to smaller brands, Andrew and Debbie’s sausages, and Mrs Crimble’s cakes and biscuits.

Alongside social media management, MK PR produced press releases for regional and national media platforms, distributing these across the UK, in order to inform the general public about the impact of the awards for the Free From community, and revealing the shortlisted nominees.

The nominee release hit regional media across the nation, appearing in several newspapers and magazines across the country. Bunmi also featured on local radio show ‘Sheffield Live’ to discuss the awards. The nominee news also featured in national food and drink publications, including ‘Eat Drink Scotland’.

In response to this vast coverage, alongside the engagement on social media, by the close of the awards, the total number of votes was at 17,083. Once the long waited winners were revealed MK PR was able to inform every nominees of the result of the awards.

MK PR quickly distributed a national and regional press release across a variety of media platforms, receiving national coverage on blogging site ‘what allergy’ and regional coverage, in papers such as ‘The Wiltshire Times’ and ‘Business Cornwall’.

The Results:

The response to the winners was phenomenal. Social media was fully populated with congratulations and excited winners engaging with their followers, and each nominee announced the awards on their website, proudly displaying their ‘Free From People’s Choice Award’ badge.

And most importantly, as a result, Foods You Can has received a stream of inquiries about the services the website offers, alongside requests for submission forms for the 2015 awards.

Coverage was achieved in more than 30 online, print and broadcast media outlets – including key target publications such as mother and baby blogs, regional newspapers, and national fast moving consumer goods trade publications, and this interest in the ’Free From People’s Choice Awards’ was as a direct result of engaging effectively with the right audience, at the right time.