The Digital Ladder helps Lyra and Brain Tumour Research reach millions


AN ONLINE marketing agency’s innovative festive social media campaign enabled the charity Brain Tumour Research to reach an audience of more than 120 million people worldwide in December it was revealed today (January 14, 2020).

The Digital Ladder managed six-year-old Lyra Cole’s Christmas single in aid of Brain Tumour Research from conception right through to releasing the song across major platforms and social media management.

Jessie Hawkes, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Somerset-based The Digital Ladder, says:

“Our campaign, in partnership with Brain Tumour Research, drove unprecedented levels of website traffic and publicity for the charity. It was wonderful to be involved in such an inspiring project. It’s been a whirlwind of awareness and publicity and, working with the charity, we managed to secure a video message from Sir Cliff Richard and went up to London to sit on the sofa with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on This Morning, wow!

“Lyra, who lives in Highbridge, is my niece and she survived a brain tumour when she was a baby, so she wanted to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research, which is the only national charity in the UK singularly focused on finding a cure for brain tumours. We made a professional, polished recording of the Christmas classic ‘When A Child is Born’, also recorded by Sir Cliff way back when, which I filmed and produced. I then set about doing what I do all day long for work and what I do best, promoting the track via social media, urging people to share the video and help it make Christmas number one.

“It took the UK by storm and made it to the top of the Amazon Music Chart, and we’re all really proud of what we’ve achieved in helping the charity and raising invaluable funds and awareness for it. I am particularly proud of Lyra who has been brilliant throughout and is a real inspiration to us all.”

As a result of The Digital Ladder’s online marketing campaign, Brain Tumour Research received 226 donations directly via Lyra’s appeal page on its website in December.

Susan Castle-Smith, Head of PR for Brain Tumour Research said:

“It’s been a tremendous success for us, and we want to thank everyone involved in helping raise so much money and awareness for the charity. We’ve had donations totalling more than £4,000, not including sales from the song, and Lyra’s story generated more than 600 pieces of PR coverage, reaching around 120 million people. Her single was featured on BBC Breakfast, ITV network news and This Morning, as well as receiving widespread in the newspapers and online.

“Our social media posts about Lyra have reached 682,000 people and Lyra’s page and our Lyra-related bulletins on our website have attracted more than 14,000 visitors.

“Our stats also show us that Lyra’s story is reaching people who hadn’t previously been involved with the charity, many of whom have asked to know more about our work, and this is really important to us. Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 yet, historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. We are determined to change this and Lyra, her family and The Digital Ladder have done so much to help us get our message out there.”

The video, which The Digital Ladder created, has now been listed as one of ITV News Standout Social Media Videos of the Year for 2019 and the song also reached number 16 in the UK Official Download Charts (

Jessie added:

“It’s been a magical time and a magical campaign. In just two weeks of launching, we had a following of more than 1,500 on Facebook and more than 500 subscribers on YouTube, it was number one in the Amazon Music Charts for a continuous seven days and we were invited on to BBC News, had numerous interviews across regional and national TV, as well as radio interviews. It was a huge success for all involved.”

Some of the key achievements that The Digital Ladder accomplished via its social media marketing campaign and video production, which is what the company specialises in, include 136,000 YouTube video views and 175,000 Facebook views. It’s been an amazing success.”

Now Lyra has been awarded a Point of Light Award ( from the Prime Minister’s Office and Jessie joined her and her family to receive the award at the Houses of Parliament in London today (Tuesday, January 14).

In a personal letter to Lyra, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition on how your Christmas single is doing so much for Brain Tumour Research and helping other children, like you, who they support. Well done for all that you have achieved!”

As well as handling the video production for the official music video, The Digital Ladder also took the promotional photos for press coverage and the album cover. It created and looked after Lyra’s social media accounts, managed the release of the single across all major platforms and managed Lyra too.

The company, which is based at Oldmixon Crescent in Weston-super-Mare, works with businesses to create their identities and campaigns to tap into changing technologies, business models, demographics and global trends.

It helps businesses grow, through social media, video production, photography, drone-based aerial video and photography, website design, creative digital marketing and branding and design. It is unique in also providing 360° photography.

Co-Founder and Business Development Lead for The Digital Ladder, Michelle Michael says:

“We only launched the business last summer and I have been really impressed with Jessie’s drive, ambition, determination and skills. This has been a tremendous campaign that has delivered some superb traction and really shows off what wonderful things we can do here at The Digital Ladder.

"As a result of the campaigns that we have managed for Lyra we have applied and secured for her the status of ‘musician’ in Google Knowledge Panel and her social media platforms have been added to this, which is only awarded to artists who can demonstrate a particular following and traction. The wonderful thing for Lyra as well is that it could help launch her career going forward, as she is in performing arts and interested in continuing with her singing.”

To find out more and for further details, please visit The Digital Ladder website or call 07928 336752.