SSE Airtricity – More than just a helpline


An Introduction 

SSE Airtricity, a leading renewable energy provider in Ireland, has always had local communities at the heart of all they do. What started as a green energy alternative for the country found engagement with various social causes nationwide, bringing people closer and creating authentic connections with the locals. The most recent of these collaborations is with LGBT Ireland – which maintains and runs the National LGBT Helpline. SSE Airtricity’s sponsorship of this essential helpline was the first time it was fully funded, allowing members of the LGBT community to receive much-needed support in a non-judgmental, accepting environment – free of cost.


The Project

As an essential helpline for all LGBT people nationwide, this National Helpline needed all the awareness and attention it could get. Simultaneously, the project ensured that the intended audience could connect and relate with the message enough to feel comfortable contacting the helpline and, at the same time, dealing with the incredible nuance of identity and sense of self – any outreach needed to be localized and drilled down to speak directly to the intended audience, emphasizing a non-judgmental space.

Here comes IRS+ with a game-changing radio solution that recognised the trojan work of the Helpline heroes and changed how The National LGBT Helpline and SSE Airtricity reached out to the local communities.


The Solution

IRS+ identified the need for local sentiment in any outreach, the idea that help is closer than one thinks – being at the crux of it. Therefore, local people who benefited from the helpline were at the core of our advertising campaign, and we brought it to life using the Local Accent Bias.

The Local Accent Bias is a pioneering experiment conducted by IRS+ to investigate the benefits of using local accents in radio advertisements across Ireland. The results had been ground breaking – revealing that the geographically targeted local accent voiceover copy significantly outperformed the national accent in 22 out of 24 sample groups.

This research has helped IRS+ brands to reach out more impactfully to local audiences, create a powerful impact, and establish genuine relationships with our customers nationwide. The local accent is a game-changer in radio advertisements, and for SSE Airtricity and the National LGBT Helpline, it was just what they needed to connect with the local audience.

IRS+ worked with Foe to create a bespoke campaign around bringing in members of the LGBT community to speak of their real-world experiences using the helpline for various reasons and the positive impact it had on them. We produced different copies for each radio station we worked with, within which only people from the local relevant accents were used. This was key to the success of this campaign since the local accent bias came into play to connect with the local audience, who were able to hear members of their community speak about LGBT+ issues and reaffirm the helpline’s commitment to national service.

The campaign was run over multiple weeks in 4 radio stations across Ireland, seeing significant success in not just the number of callers but also adjacent assets such as the LGBT Helpline’s official website and other internet presences.


The Result 

The success of this campaign was seen in multiple avenues of outreach across the helpline, website, and other online media for The National LGBT Helpline.

  • More than 40% increase in people looking into volunteering opportunities.
  • The National LGBT Helpline’s official website had over 2000 unique visitors, allowing them access to more resources that can help.
  • Overall, 80% increase in local awareness and outreach.

The teams, not just at the LGBT Helpline but SSE Airtricity, spoke of their experience with this campaign:

SSE Airtricity are proud to be partnering with an organisation such as LGBT Ireland that are continuing to build a more inclusive Ireland that embraces diversity. This 6-week campaign was in collaboration with LGBT Ireland, the local community and IRS+ which saw drive awareness of the helpline to those who needed it the most.”

– Leanne Sheill, Senior Marketing Manager – SSE Airtricity.

The campaign is still in motion, and thanks to the efforts of the local community, the helpline in collaboration with IRS+ and Foe, the National LGBT Helpline continues to be a safe space for all those who need it, anytime, anywhere.[/vc_column_text]

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