Developing pathways to garner trust and build connections with fathers (and their support circle) who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss is a complicated task. We live in a world that is striving to shift the paradigm of how we view mental health support, particularly around men's mental health. Despite positive shifts and growing traction among male focused support services, men are still less likely than women to seek help if they're experiencing grief, depression or other mental health issues. As Australia's largest privately funded infant and pregnancy loss service, Bears of Hope is looking to grow the diversity of their support services for men through Beards of Hope, their dedicated men's support organnization. To date, their engagement and success has centrered around their annual beard growing fundraiser ‘Beards of Hope’. It has been a positive way to bring men together and start the discussion in a non-threatening environment. Our job is to continue to grow the brand and expand awareness and engagement of their other support services.
We have worked in close partnership with parent organization, Bears of Hope, since 2018 helping to reshape their branding, authentically connect them with their audience through language and graphics and provide avenues for authentic storytelling from short documentary work, to sponsor proposal strategy, marketing materials (print and digital) and social. While both sides of the organization focus on bereavement support following infant or pregnancy loss, the approach for the men's support required a different perspective. We held casual interviews with fathers, and men in general, about what would encourage them to actively seek (and engage) support and what types of support services they would be consider. We also requested their feedback throughout the brand storytelling and visual rollout to ensure they had an active voice. The cornerstone of the rebrand was an updated website and a newly formed instagram channel. We also worked on strategy, rewrite and design of their Corporate Sponsor engagement which resulted in 160% growth in funds raised, despite being a COVID year.