South Australia Tourism Commission, After the Bushfires

Australia after the bushfires

Record-breaking temperatures and months of severe drought fuelled a series of massive bushfires across Australia from late 2019 to March 2020. An estimated 1.2bn animals perished and thousands of homes have been destroyed.

But as the fires were slowly put out, Australia faced a whole new issue – a decline in tourism with increasing numbers of holiday-makers cancelling the trips they had planned. This was in part due to the dissemination of photoshopped images on social media showing the entire country going up flames.

Last year tourism contributed more than $47 billion to the Australian economy but this ‘fake news’ was repelling holiday-makers at a time when the economy needed them most.

One particular area that was hit hardest by the fire was the pristine Kangaroo Island in South Australia. Australia’s third largest island, home to koalas, kangaroos and some of the most idyllic beaches Australia has to offer.

We were tasked by the South Australia Tourism Commission to create a ‘bushfire recovery campaign’ to dispel these myths and show the UK holidaymakers that Australia is very much open for business as well as to drive donations for Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park.

We developed a broadcast first strategy to ‘show rather than tell’, providing UK viewers with a direct line to an expert bushcraft spokesperson, emotive interviews with local business owners and myth dispelling footage of stunning beaches.

To set the record straight, we brought on board the UK’s best-known bushcraft and wildlife expert Ray Mears, who is not only an expert voice on bushfires and plant regeneration, but also has an established and authentic connection with the UK audience. Ray spear-headed the campaign on behalf of the South Australian Tourism Commission with a remit to tell people in the UK that Australia is ‘open for business’ and one of the key ways that people can support is to come and visit. Viewers who wanted to show support in other ways were encouraged to make donations to the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park.

To ensure the story landed emotionally with UK viewers, we interviewed local tour operators and hoteliers whose livelihoods have been directly impacted by the decline in tourism. These locals had seen their homes burned to the ground and had dropped everything to help save others and animals whilst they themselves were facing crisis.

To help change perceptions of South Australia as a scorched wasteland, we chose one of the many pristine beaches that Kangaroo Island has to offer as backdrop for filming. From there we conducted a series of live broadcast interviews with the likes of BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 5 Live, Sky News and Channel 5 News and also captured exclusive B-Roll footage of the makeshift wildlife hospital for the Press Association.

The result? More than a hundred pieces of global coverage (reaching more than 200 million people), an increase in donations to the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park of over £200K and, perhaps most importantly an increase in people booking their holidays again to Australia.


Arden University, The Karren Brady MBA

The Karren Brady MBA

This year Arden University is launching a new MBA course in association with one of the UK’s most prominent business leaders, Dame Karren Brady. It has a particular focus on promoting so-called ‘soft skills’, helping students develop their communication and negotiation skills, as well as resilience and the ability to ‘speak up and be heard’ in the workplace. To make as much noise as possible about the course, we worked with them to develop a story based around the skills that businesses are looking for from graduates.

The results were eye opening. Two thirds of small and medium sized businesses in the UK said graduates lacked the crucial skills to succeed in the workplace. It gave us the perfect platform to raise a real issue facing employers that fed into what Arden University are trying to do with their new MBA course. Using Baroness Brady and the Chief Executive of Arden University, we were able to provoke debate on dozens of outlets. Our spokespeople used the story to talk about issues they were passionate about, and at the same time point out what the new MBA had to offer.
We were able to place Baroness Brady on Ian King Live on Sky News, on Simon McCoy’s show on the BBC News Channel and,  alongside Arden University’s CEO, on BBC radio stations across the UK.

Good Morning Britain

Good Broadcast Presents: Good Morning Britain

Date: 06/02/2020


Good Morning Britain is one of the most watched TV News programmes in the UK, with a unique editorial agenda and presenters who know how to make a splash. Getting a story on GMB is a priority for lots of PRs, so for our first event of the year Good Broadcast hosted the programme’s deputy planning editor, Carl Hemp, at one of our regular events to give us the inside track. Here are his top tips..
Pick the right topics: Carl outlined what the programme likes to cover over and above the usual cut and thrust of the day’s news. Top of the list is anything to do with being ‘woke’, which is a particular area of interest to Piers. Other hot topics include veganism, the BBC license fee and in the future they’d like to do more based around the environment.
Know the programme: Carl said it was crucial PRs understood the mood of the programme, which includes getting to know what the presenters like to talk about. One of the easiest wins is to pick a subject you know will spark an argument between Piers and Susanna.
Pitching the perfect story: Having a high profile celebrity makes a big difference, but they need to be connected to the story in an authentic way. Human interest stories are integral to the programme, so always make sure you have a powerful case study if possible.
Understanding the GMB planning process: The planning department always consider stories two days in advance – so on a Wednesday, they’re thinking about Friday’s show. They do also plan stories way in advance, sometimes a year ahead, so get in touch in plenty of time. And there isn’t a bad time to call the planning desk – they’re willing to talk anytime.
Presenters are crucial: Carl pointed out that all the presenters are committed to making the programme the best it can be. None of the on-screen talent will just be given a story and present it without asking questions, everyone is involved in the decision making process. PRs need to watch the programme to truly understand what makes the presenters tick.
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HSBC, Navigator Report

Navigator Report

Every year HSBC publish their annual ‘Navigator’ report, an in depth study of thousands of companies around the world and the UK. It’s a substantial piece of research asking c-suite executives for their thoughts on future trading prospects, and how the prevailing economic climate will affect their ability to grow their business in the medium to long term. Our remit was to advise HSBC on whether the campaign would work on high-end business programmes that themselves are watched and listened to by decision makers, corporate directors and high net worth individuals.

Once we established that the campaign was strong enough to go to the media with, we worked with HSBC to determine the best angles and how to pitch to journalists to get maximum exposure. We helped to identify two distinct audiences – global and domestic – and tailored our approaches accordingly by offering different spokespeople from within the business that we knew would be of interest to different programmes.

By using our extensive media contacts we were able to secure two of the most high profile business programmes that are watched and listened to by high level decision makers. The Today programme were interested in the juxtaposition of businesses saying they felt confident about the future despite global trade wars, and Ian King on Sky wanted to discuss how UK businesses were adapting to uncertain economic trading conditions created by our uncertain political climate. In both interviews HSBC were able to deliver their key message that global trade is alive and well.


Avoiding Brexit Halloween Howlers

Avoiding Brexit Halloween Howlers

Date: 03/10/2019


In early October, we invited our guests along for a lesson on how to avoid a communications catastrophe during the biggest political issue Britian has faced in decades.

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The National German Tourism Board, Passion Play

Passion Play

How do you promote an obscure German play that is only performed every ten years since a small town in Bavaria? This was the challenge facing The German National Tourist Board when they approached us for support – hardly a straightforward brief!

With tickets already on sale we had to create a reason for broadcasters to speak to our spokesperson now as opposed to March 2020 when performances would commence.

We framed the interview against the backdrop of a recent research trip to Jerusalem that we positioned as the “official” start of rehearsals but because of the lack of news hook and the subject matter, the campaign called for a unique approach to media relations. This was not a case of using our black book of contacts or playing the numbers game via blanket emails to multiple outlets. We drew up a list of religious programmes on national and regional TV and radio outlets (our spokesperson was the man playing Jesus after all) and set up about creating a database of the producers we knew would be interested in the story. Good, old fashioned, phone bashing and establishing relationships with the right journalists on the day.

We secured dozens of BBC regional stations, including a round of interviews via GNS on Sunday morning. On top of that we managed to land three national BBC outlets – Radio 4, 5 Live and the World Service. The coverage provided much needed publicity for the play as tickets went on sale.


Co-op, Young Driver Insurance

Young Drivers Insurance

Co-op Insurance approached us to support the launch of their ‘Graduated Young Driver Insurance Product’.

Rather than just talking about the product and the cost of insurance for recently qualified drivers we decided to focus our campaign on a proposed solution to the number of serious accidents caused by young drivers.

In 2001 21-year-old Rachel Whitear died of a heroin overdose and her parents took the brave decision to release the image of her body – to shock youngsters away from experimenting with the drug. Some schools made the decision to show this image to their pupils as a deterrent.

With this in mind, we set about trying to create parallels with young drivers by raising the question; should we show young drivers graphic images of car accidents to deter dangerous behaviour?

With Co-op running 20 secondary schools across the North of England, we advised them to work with Headteachers on how driver behaviour can be changed by launching seminars at schools – alongside their charity partner Brake – meaning Co-op were taking real action on the issues they were raising.

We then sought to humanise the story, introducing Tamsin – who sadly lost her brother, Tristan due to a dangerous young driver, when she was 13.

Tamsin was able to speak openly and honestly about the knock-on impact of the crash – on her, her family and also on the driver’s life. She recognises that peer pressure plays a significant role in the decisions youngsters make so more needs to be done to encourage good driving behaviour.

After consulting her with our plans, Tamsin now believes that ‘shock tactics’ (like showing graphic images) can work for some but for others financial will be the biggest driver – and a key part of the Graduated Young Driver Insurance Product is a financial reward for good behaviour on the roads.

Posing the question of whether young drivers shoulds be shown graphic images of car accidents as a deterrent provided a debatable platform for Tamsin, Brake and Co-op which ultimately delivered a reach of close to 70 million people via both the BBC and ITV networks, Sky News Radio, Sky Sunrise, TalkRadio, the entire Bauer news network and This Morning. Most importantly however, the campaign showed real change in sentiment among young drivers.


BBC Breakfast

BBC Breakfast

Date: 10/10/2019


We were delighted to host BBC Breakfast Producer, Peter Ruddick in Manchester to share his insights on how PR can work across broadcast news. Read more about the event here.

 

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Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Edge

Celebrity Edge

Good Broadcast was asked by Celebrity Cruises to help launch one of the most luxurious and technologically advanced passenger ships the world had ever seen. Celebrity Edge was built using groundbreaking techniques, alongside world famous designers who created contemporary interiors that were second to none. Our task was to get broadcasters on board to showcase the ship’s unique qualities, and to highlight the work the company has done to promote diversity amongst its crew.

We approached the task from two separate angles, targeting different sections of the media with different stories. Our first job was to get broadcasters on board, so we worked with Celebrity Cruises to identify design features and technology that hadn’t been seen before on a cruise ship. That allowed us to position Celebrity Edge as a new kind of ship in the cruise industry and that, in turn, allowed us to approach broadcasters with the idea of using it as a backdrop for an outside broadcast to talk about the state of UK tourist industry and cruising, just before the start of the summer.

The second story revolved around Celebrity Cruises’ work to promote diversity and inclusion, and specifically encouraging more women to consider a career in cruising. We worked with their PR team to commission research into the career aspirations of young children, and the barriers they already think they face when it comes to applying for jobs. But it’s no good coming up with an interesting talking point, if the spokespeople don’t have any appeal. That’s why we used Captain Kate McCue from Celebrity Cruises, who was the first US female cruise ship captain, and the actress, Sadie Frost, who’s known for campaigning for gender equality.

We were able to persuade the BBC News Channel to do an outside broadcast from Celebrity Edge that consisted of multiple hits from various locations across the ship. They interviewed the captain, the company’s CEO, Kelly Hoppen who designed the ship’s interior and the UK cruise industry’s umbrella organisation. While they were on air they played drone pictures we had shot of the ship arriving in Southampton earlier. It meant images of Celebrity Edge were played throughout the day on the BBC.

To highlight Celebrity Cruises’ commitment to diversity we secured interviews for Captain Kate and Sadie Frost on Sky Sunrise and dozens of BBC regional stations. They were able to talk about how the company is helping women to move into roles that may not have considered in the past.

In the end the two approaches allowed us to target multiple outlets with distinct stories, but with one purpose – to showcase Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Cruises and its staff.


Nuffield, Gym-hibitions

Gym-hibitions

To keep Nuffield Health gyms front of mind in the ultra-competitive New Year fitness space, we used insight to demonstrate the brand’s understanding of its audience. The ‘Gym-hibitions’ campaign sought to explore the barriers preventing people from joining a gym. With target audiences split across under 35s and the over 55s, we brought Gym-hibitions to life with two staggered campaigns under the same creative umbrella.

To reach younger audiences, we tapped into the wider debate around the influence of social media, demonstrating that a third of under 35 year olds felt that social media is harmful, rather than helpful, when it comes to motivating people to get fit. Targeting lifestyle pages, we drove quality coverage and debate in the likes of Independent Online, HuffPost, Joe.co.uk, Get The Gloss, Cosmopolitan – all key titles for the age group – with the majority of online articles linking to the Nuffield Health website.

A supporting micro-influencer campaign to encourage more realistic/less staged imagery posted from gyms drove social engagement, while a competition across social channels to win sweat-activated t-shirts featuring motivational slogans further drove the campaign message home.

To reach our over 55s audience we focussed on the lack of knowledge around the importance of exercise for maintaining bone density as we age. With a strategic focus on broadcast media to reach the older age group, we landed our spokesperson on GMB and Sky Sunrise, with 9 BBC and 2 national stations picking up the story. Editorial coverage in national and regional print and older lifestyle media amplified reach.

Generating over 250 pieces of coverage across print and online (including 14 nationals), broadcast and social, the campaign smashed KPIs. Share of voice for Nuffield Health in January was more than triple that of its main gym competitors with Nuffield Health not only being part of, but driving the New Year fitness conversation.


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