Outreach Case Study: 1 Squadron, 10 the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment.

This Outreach case study has two authors, one a British Army Major and one a Liveryman of this Company. When you read how a team of military and marketing professionals worked together, to achieve a common objective, it is entirely appropriate that there are the two authors working together. 

Chapter one, written by Major Nick Heppenstall MBE, Officer Commanding 1 Squadron, 10 the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment. For a two month period over the summer of 2019, the Worshipful Company of Marketors undertook an Outreach project in support of 1 Squadron, 10 The Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment, which in 2020 will commemorate its 150th Anniversary.  Having formed on the 15th of February 1870 in Woolwich, the Squadron is the oldest in the Royal Logistic Corps and therefore this anniversary represents a significant milestone for an organisation that has contributed to countless military operations in support of the British Army.

The team from the Worshipful Company of Marketors, led by the Master, Andrew Cross, and Graham Storey, supported the Squadron in the design and production of a brand identity for the anniversary and helped to generate a fundraising strategy.

Whilst the tangible benefits of this Outreach work are difficult to quantify, the support provided is timeless in nature and will undoubtedly make a considerable difference, enabling the Officers and Soldiers within the Squadron to mark the event in ways which otherwise would not have been possible.  The Squadron are exceptionally grateful to the Worshipful Company of Marketors for the way in which they generously gave up considerable time to invest in this anniversary and for their considerable skills and expertise. 

Chapter two, written by a Liveryman of this Company. For many years, writing in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces has been guided by the published wisdom contained in a Joint Service Publication known as JSP 101. Major Nick Heppenstall has followed that guidance to produce content that meets the service writing objective of content that is accurate, brief and clear. However, sometimes we Marketors like to know a little more about how marketing projects are conceived, managed and delivered and there is a marketing tale to be told about this Outreach project which may raise a few eyebrows from those who plan their own marketing campaigns with monthly and quarterly reviews.

From when the Company first received the client brief and objectives to the first date when initial deliverables had to be ready, we had less than 5 weeks. And the first date for deliverables could not be moved for reasons beyond anyone’s control as will be explained.

The objectives were marketing and fund raising assistance to support a Commemorative Expedition to Nepal in January 2020 and an Anniversary Gala Dinner the following month. The fundraising target was substantial and had to be achieved from a standing start.

The Master outlined the brief, circulated the details to those in the Company likely to be able to contribute to hitting the objective and once a team was in place, suggested “that we arrange a team briefing meeting and a brainstorming session to establish the required deliverables against proposed timelines”, adding “we do need to move quickly”.     

A few days later the City Livery Club by the Thames was the venue for a meeting that included the Master, a Past Master and the Commanding Officer of the Squadron who, to allow fast communications, had decided to also be the Squadron’s project manager. In view of the fundraising targets, it soon became clear that the most likely source of funding would be businesses and not individuals. Many questions were asked, like which companies would be likely to find the substantial sums required, where are their decision makers based, what would they want in return, how would be best to approach them and a whole lot more questions that eventually were matched with answers. With a clear objective and a willingness to find solutions instead of problems, a planned sequence of action points by individuals then emerged.

Because the timescale was a given, it was just accepted and had to be factored in. The solution, agreed at the planning meeting, was quite simple. As the sequence of planned actions didn’t fit the timescale, an idea from the IT industry was adopted. With parallel processing, part of the team worked on the branding which needed brand definition input and graphic artist output. Simultaneously, part of the team did the targeting and identification of potential funding donor groups. Another part of the team developed the offer to the funding donors while another researched the commercial market for such offerings and planned how all these elements would come together within the four remaining weeks left before the first deliver by date had to be achieved.

Did I mention that while all this was happening, the Squadron was engaged on Civic Duties in London, which meant that the Squadron was providing the ceremonial guards for Buckingham Palace and St James’ Palace. That meant that on certain days, (remember the dates that could not be moved) decision makers from potential donor companies could be invited inside to watch the ceremonial from “behind the scenes” while being offered well thought out, well presented reasons to encourage them to provide the required funding which you will remember was the team’s objective. Just to add to the environment in which the team was operating, as the Outreach project deadlines got closer by the day, President Trump arrived for a State visit to London. The Squadron’s project manager had many additional ceremonial and hosting duties which sometimes meant that the team had to make full use of the 24 hours that are found in just one day.

The team achieved its objective by partnering the Squadron with individual funding sources and within timescales that were regarded as just challenges.

Co-authored by Major Nick Heppenstall MBE and Liveryman Graham Storey

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