One of the key issues for organisations using public funds to promote social change is demonstrating that the investment is achieving the desired outcomes. The Families Commission has been able to use the insight and intelligence gained from Isentia’s media monitoring and analysis not only to show that its “White Ribbon” campaign is being seen, heard and acted upon, but also to help shape the ongoing campaign strategy.

The Challenge

White Ribbon is a global campaign that encourages men to stand up against violence towards women. In New Zealand it is led by The Families Commission, which relies on public funds and sponsorship to run the campaign.

The Commission sought a means of demonstrating the impact and value of the campaign. “We wanted the ability to readily show existing and potential sponsors the benefits of supporting White Ribbon as well as reporting to our Board on the effectiveness of investment in campaign activities,” says Rob McCann, White Ribbon Campaign Manager.'

The Solution

In 2009 the Commission engaged Isentia to evaluate the reach and profile of White Ribbon media coverage. The scope of the brief has since been extended to include a broader assessment of the extent to which campaign messaging is reflected in the media and in the wider discussion around family violence during the campaign period. 

The annual analysis tracks all media coverage of the campaign, evaluates how the campaign messaging is filtered and interpreted by the media, assesses coverage of family violence during the campaign period and identifies the campaign events and activities that most successfully achieve the publicity objectives.  


The analysis report provides a commanding view of the campaign. It equips McCann with strategic insight that has had a direct impact on how the campaign is run. 

“By being able to see where the campaign coverage is occurring, whether our key messages are being picked up and which initiatives generate the most effective publicity – we’re able to determine the best allocation of resources, tailor engagement strategies and make a sound case for additional funding in targeted areas,” says McCann. 

For example, analysis results identified the White Ribbon Ride, a week-long motorcycle convoy that carries the campaign messages into communities around New Zealand, is a key driver of favourable media coverage, particularly in community and regional media.  Based on these findings the Board of the Families Commission agreed to extend the White Ribbon Ride into the South Island.

As well as print, broadcast and on-line media, Isentia’s analysis also extends across social media. The insights gained have impacted the way in which the White Ribbon campaign engages with social media - understanding how stories and issues evolve across traditional and social media and how to frame communication differently for each medium. 

Most importantly, Isentia’s media intelligence provides Families Commission with demonstrable proof that the White Ribbon campaign is working.  McCann is able to readily show the results of campaign activity, including the extent of message penetration and the quality of coverage received. 

“Isentia’s analysis has helped us understand that our programme is indeed creating widespread public debate about family violence, generating action and involving large numbers of individuals, organisations and communities. It has enabled us to state with confidence that the White Ribbon Campaign is being seen, heard and acted upon.”