Initial Washroom Hygiene: Period Dignity

CHALLENGE
We run external communications in the UK for business services group, Rentokil Initial. Our brief covers seven separate businesses with different products, services and audiences. One of these brands is Initial Washroom Hygiene – provider of washroom products and services. Using creative news generation, our job was to raise awareness of the UK’s battle with period poverty and how organisations can play their part in ensuring everyone has access to menstrual hygiene products and facilities.  

APPROACH
In April 2019, the government announced initiatives to provide free sanitary products to all primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in a bid to prevent students missing school due to embarrassment, lack of access or affordability.  

Coinciding with an important partnership with period poverty charity Freedom4Girls, Initial Washroom Hygiene wanted to raise awareness of period poverty in the context of the workplace to identify the social stigma around menstruation. Concerningly, consumer research found that a third (32%) of male office workers claim it is unprofessional for women to talk about their period in the workplace. Women also said they would feel more comfortable public speaking than discussing their period in the presence of male colleagues. 

For businesses, normalising conversations about menstrual hygiene and how they affect women is vital in not just battling period poverty but enabling a term we coined ‘period dignity. For Initial Washroom Hygiene, creative consumer research enabled them to take a fresh stance on period dignity and remind their customers about the importance of ensuring hygienic facilities and product access for all 

IMPACT
Business customers are human and consumers too, which is why we endeavoured to reach office workers through the titles they read every day. The story achieved over 20 pieces of coverage including stand out pieces in Stylist, Mail Online, Metro and Yahoo, placing period dignity at the forefront of consumer and business agenda.  

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