PR & Communications

  • Telling the Story
  • Events & Awards
  • Working with the media
  • Communications Projects
  • Royal visit press coverage
  • Young Carers.net launch
  • Orangutan Fundraising Appeal
  • Bullfighting Free Europe
  • Building a Regional Presence

The Challenge


Her Royal Highness (HRH) The Princess Royal is President of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers. As Media Manager for The Trust I managed the PR for 18 Royal visits to carer centres throughout the UK.

Objectives

  • Raise awareness of the services that Carers First offers
  • Celebrate the success of Carers First and The Princess’ visit
  • Ensure photos are taken of the carers with The Princess, for a momentum of their day

Activity

  • Liaised with Palace protection officers and the the Carers Centres, ensuring they were fully briefed on media opportunities created as a result of the Visit
  • Worked closely with the Carers Centres, assisting them in identifying both who the key spokespeople should be and which carers would be best placed to share their story with the media
  • Produced press notices and follow-up press releases
  • Sold-in press releases to the local media to secure coverage
  • Present on the day to manage the media and provide direction to the photographer

Results

  • All visits were covered by local media, including local radio stations as well as key target newspapers.
    • On several occasions the story was covered on radio news bulletins throughout the day.
    • Interviews were secured with the chief executives of the local Carers centres, resulting in good quality media coverage.
  • Longer term coverage was secured in county magazines, including Kent Life.
  • As a result of media coverage, awareness of the Trust was increased in communities local to the Carers Centres, and the Trust received extremely positive feedback from the Carers themselves.

YC net cardThe Challenge


There are over 175,000 children looking after a member of their family due to illness, disability or addiction (young carers). This role can be very isolating and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers created a website, YCnet, to give these young carers a place to go to for help, advice and to meet other young carers.  I was given the task of raising awareness of the site by launching the website in the media.  

Objectives


  • Raise awareness of YCnet amongst young carers, by securing press coverage in national and youth media.
  • Drive young carers to the YCnet site.

Activity


Website launches are not necessarily seen as newsworthy.  I therefore created a proactive media campaign around two core pieces of activity:

  • Research -  I identified the need to commission a poll that would create a news hook.   The poll sought to find out what support young carers receive from other adults in their community. The poll found that 57% of young carers said their school knew they were a young carer, yet 82% of them said their school did not make any allowances. This gave the headline ‘Schools let down young carers’
  • A national media campaign was planned and implemented around this poll, and in addition to creating a national media story, the results of the poll were localised and successfully sold-in to the regional media.
  • Case studies - I recognised that providing the media with a ‘face’ for the story was key as this would increase the likelihood of the story being covered.  I therefore identified a number of young carers who could be put in front of the media and created a media training programme tailored to their needs
  • I sold-in and set-up over 20 media interviews, including a morning of back-to-back radio interviews
  • The Young Carers Manager was also sold-in for national media interview

The Results

  • Coverage was secured on national TV, including GMTV
  • Coverage was also secured in local radio, press and magazines
  • The campaign was nominated for the CIPR  ‘PR Campaign on a shoestring’ award.
  • In total the story reached 28 million people

Orangutan Fundraising AppealThe Challenge


A large International Animal Welfare Organisation required an International media campaign to support an emergency fundraising appeal to save an Orangutan Sanctuary.

Objectives

  • To secure UK media coverage for the charity’s emergency appeal to save the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary which was featured in the BBC series ‘Orangutan Diaries’.
  • To ensure that coverage directs readers to the fundraising appeal’s website.
  • To source and collate stories and resources for other international regions to use to support their fundraising appeals.

Activity

  • I created an emergency media campaign that would generate immediate press results and drive people to the appeal’s website. Activity included:
    • Developing a press release to send to UK media and the other International offices.
    • Compiling and sending a letter to the editor of the newspapers that had covered the BBC Orangutan Diaries series.
    • Identifying an opportunity to utilise the celebrity profile of Michaela Strachan and liaising with her to sign a ‘letter to editor’ which was sent to regional newspapers throughout the UK.
    • Working with the Metro newspaper to secure a ‘60 second interview’ with Steve Leonard, the presenter of Orangutan Diaries – this is a significant piece of coverage in the Metro newspaper, which includes a front page leader

Results

  • Secured 24 pieces of media coverage, including two in national newspapers.
  • All of the coverage featured the web address and phone number for the fundraising appeal.
  • In total the charity raised £750,000 for the Orangutan Sanctuary.

Bullfighting Free EuropeThe Challenge

When working for a large International Animal Welfare Organisation, they joined an alliance of 11 anti-bullfighting groups across Europe to achieve a ban on EU subsidies going to the bullfighting industry. The groups arranged an exhibition in the European parliament to demonstrate the cruelty of Bullfighting to the MEPs. I was tasked with managing, coordinating and producing the media pack for the consortium.

Objectives

  • Provide media support to the consortium and enable them to approach the media in their target country.
  • Coordinate the consortium’s approaches to the media to ensure media relations was targeted and focused.
  • Media train members of our staff and prepare them for difficult questions from journalists.
  • Ensure all messages communicated to the media by the consortium were consistent.

Activity

  • Development of a media pack, including press releases, key facts and figures, Q&A for reactive enquiries.
  • Sourcing information, images and approval from the 11 consortium members.
  • Production of template press releases for the consortium members to tailor for their organisation and translate to send out in their country.
  • Development and management of an in-house Media training day for key staff.

Result

  • A press pack was created that ensured consistent messages were communicated by all 11 of the consortium members.
  • The anti- bullfighting messages against European subsidies were featured in the media in several European countries including, France, Belgium, UK, Netherlands and the key target country Spain.
  • International coverage was achieved on the BBC World Service and National Public Radio in the US.

The Challenge

The Stroke Association supports stroke survivors and their families across the UK by offering communications support, information and advice through local services. The charity relies on people’s donations for its work supporting people whose lives have been affected by stroke. The Communications Team wanted to increase its profile through the local media across seven geographical regions; North East and North West of England, Yorkshire, London, East of England and the East and West Midlands

Objectives

  • To raise awareness of the Stroke Association as an organisation that supports stroke survivors locally
  • To publicise fundraising events and encourage sponsorship, registration and ticket sales
  • To work with the central team to secure local coverage of national initiatives and campaigns

Activity

I worked as a Regional Communications officer covering the seven regions for nearly two years, the work included:

  • Working with the local fundraising and services teams to identify good media stories.
  • Writing press releases and building relationships with local media to gain coverage
  • Drafting official spokesman responses to reactive media enquiries
  • Producing regional variations for national news stories
  • Building up a database of case studies, which involved interviewing stroke survivors and their carers.

Results

Over the two years I increased the regional share of coverage for each of my regions. I also gained coverage in key regional newspapers and on broadcast media. Some of my case studies were also used for National media coverage including Daybreak and Channel Five news. The success of my work as a temporary officer, justified the need for a full time role, which has now been recruited.

To find out more about my work here you can contact Anil.Ranchod@stroke.org.uk
  • Pam's Dash
  • Champion Carers Awards

Pam FerrisThe Challenge

Pam Ferris (Actress from Harry Potter and Rosemary and Thyme) is a Vice President of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers. In her role as an ambassador for The Trust she was keen to do something to raise awareness of the support available for unpaid carers during Carers Week. I planned and implemented a mad dash event travelling (by car and 4-seater plane) down the country visiting 11 Carers Centres in 12 hours. 

Objectives

  • Raise awareness of the support carers can get from their local Carers Centres.
  • Raise awareness of the health related issues that carers face with the general public through national media and the key government departments.

Activity

  • Created 11 local press releases and sold-in photos and interviews with Pam Ferris to the local media across the country
  • Organised a morning of back-to-back local radio interviews with Pam Ferris
  • Secured an interview with Pam on national television programme BBC Breakfast
  • Produced a presentation book of carers issues and accompanied Pam to a parliament reception with MPs to deliver it
  • Liaised with the pilots, local chauffeurs (volunteers) and planned all the routes for the dash.

Results

  • Reached over 6 million people with the Pam Dash through local newspapers, radio and National TV.
  • The MP who received the book promised to pass it onto the Prime Minister’s office.

 

Champion Carers AwardsThe Challenge


For The Princess Royal Trust for Carers 10th anniversary, the charity was looking for something that would generate coverage throughout the year and provide a focus for its birthday in October. I created the HSA Champion Carers Award scheme which would recognise the role of unpaid carers across the country.

Objectives

  • To raise awareness of carers and caring issues with local, regional and national audiences.
  • To generate media coverage for The Princess Royal Trust for Carers 10th anniversary.
  • To uncover hidden carers and promote the services of The Trust and its Carers Centres.
  • To ensure HSA was recognised as the partner of the competition.

Activity

  • Creating the HSA Champion Carers Award scheme and associated PR plan to publicise the Awards.
  • Reviving The Trust’s relationship with Actress Pam Ferris and encouraging her to become an Ambassador for the 10th anniversary year.
  • Securing National TV for the launch with Pam Ferris appearing on This Morning
  • Writing nine local press releases for the Champion Carers winners and targeting their local media.
  • Commissioning and managing the filming for a new Charity video.
  • Managing the PR around the Champion Carers Award ceremony, which was attended by HRH The Princess Royal.

Results

The results of this campaign were very tangible and had a direct impact on the charity by not only raising its profile but also creating and securing fundraising opportunities.

  • The story reached 5 million people
  • National, regional and local media coverage was secured for the launch of the competition and the announcement of the winners. Coverage secured included:
    • National television programme ‘This Morning’. This piece of coverage alone generated 340 phone calls to The Trust office in just 12 hours.
    • Mizz magazine, a high profile teen magazine, which is the perfect target media to reach young carers.
  • The corporate donor HSA was featured in all media coverage due to the award scheme featuring the company name.
  • Following the event The Trust secured a ‘Charity of the Year’ partnership with a leading pharmacy chain.

Fledglings 25th AnniversaryThe Challenge

To raise their profile of a children’s day nursery in the local community and nursery sector during their 25th anniversary year.

Objectives

  • Raise awareness of Fledgelings Nursery in the local community
  • Achieve recognition in the Nursery education sector
  • Celebrate the success of the nursery with staff and children from the last 25 years
  • To say thank you to the staff that have made the nursery a success

Activity

I met with the team at Fledgelings nursery at the beginning of their 25th anniversary year to plan the communications activity.  This included:

  • Working with the management team to identify story opportunities through the year, for example; a Toddle Waddle, An appeal to find old children and staff and the Anniversary celebration week
  • Working with the nursery team to create a media pack and activity schedule for the anniversary week, including 25 funny things that children say, history of the nursery and building, 25 Fledgelings facts
  • Producing press releases for all of the events and contacting the Meningitis Trust for the Toddle Waddle
  • Speaking to the local media and setting-up photoshoots at the nursery
  • Carrying out a targeted media programme for the celebration week, making a variety of approaches through workplace of the week, 80s time tunnels and traditional media articles and interviews on local radio.

Results

Fledgelings Nursery appeared in the media 17 times reaching almost 2 million people over seven months. Highlights of the coverage include:

  • Three pieces of coverage on the region’s largest radio station, Heart FM, including ‘work place of the week’, which recognised and rewarded the staff.  The average Heart listener is 25 to 44 years old - the perfect target age for new parents
  • Two articles in Nursery World Magazine, with a third in the pipeline in the National Day Nurseries Association magazine
  • A three minute interview on the KMFM Breakfast show, which goes out to 100,000 people across Thanet

Press release text was also used in a local magazine advert, letters to schools and posters displayed around the community.

  • Daily Telegraph Christmas Appeal
  • Bear Sanctuary Series

The Challenge


Securing a National newspaper ‘Christmas Appeal’ is a big opportunity for a charity. The Fundraisers work hard to secure the opportunity but it is up to the PR person to maximise the opportunity.

I managed the relationship for The Princess Royal Trust for Carers with the Daily Telegraph Christmas Appeal.

Objectives

  • Find and sell in compelling stories to generate funds for the Charity
  • Raise awareness of unpaid carers and carers issues.
  • Help unpaid carers find out about the services available from The Princess Royal Trust for Carers.

Activity

  • I worked closely with the designated journalist at The Daily Telegraph to create a number of news stories that the paper could use as part of their campaign. For example,
  • Worked with the journalist and Carers Centres to identify strong case studies that would work well in the Daily Telegraph. I subsequently arranged the interviews with the carers, these included a carer looking after his wife with Alzheimers, a group of young carers on a much needed break away and a lady who cares for her husband who has a head injury.
  • Worked with HRH The Princess Royal’s office to secure a rare exclusive interview with The Princess.

Results

  • During the seven week appeal campaign I secured 15 articles throughout the daily and weekend newspaper.
  • Over £300,000 was raised for the charity as a direct result of the Christmas Appeal
  • In addition to the funds we also reached 600 new carers who had previously been unaware that any help existed.

Bear SanctuaryThe Challenge

The Romanian Bear Sanctuary provides a lifetime care home to bears that are rescued from extreme captive conditions. The international TV channel, Animal Planet commissioned a production company to work on a series to show the work of the sanctuary. I worked for the international animal welfare organisation that funded the sanctuary. 

Objectives

  • To ensure the series accurately reflected the issues of captive bears and the life the bears will have at the sanctuary.
  • To maximise the profile of the key funder of the sanctuary, a large international animal welfare organisation, during the series,
  • To build a media and fundraising campaign around the series.

Activity

  • Maximising the opportunities that the TV series created:
    • As the key liaison person between the production company and the funder of the sanctuary, I arranged the film trips and identified the story opportunities at the sanctuary.
    • I also liaised with the Animal Planet PR team for the media campaign around the series, ensuring that the animal welfare organisation was consistently promoted in all their PR.
  • Development and distribution of core media materials:
    • Produced a media pack for the series which provided journalists with high resolution images and ready-made news stories, therefore enabling them to quickly and easily cover the story
    • Developed a core resource pack for the international regional offices to publicise the series in their country. This ensured a consistency of messages and provided cost savings by developing core media materials centrally.

Results

The eight-part Bear Sanctuary series has been broadcast and repeated on the Animal Planet channel across the UK, Middle East and Europe.

The funder of the sanctuary, was featured prominently in the series and we secured associated media coverage across Europe, ultimately recruiting new donors from the exposure. .

  • Annual Reviews
  • Supporters Newsletters
  • Time for review
  • Updating Literaure

Annual ReviewThe Challenge

As a Communications Professional I have been asked to manage and write a number of publications.

An Annual Review is one of the most vital pieces of communication that an organisation produces each year, and I had a unique challenge when I was asked to manage and produce The Princess Royal Trust for Carers Annual Review, with the specific task of considering the new Royal Mail postage system, which was based on letter size.

Objectives

  • Manage the production and content for The Princess Royal Trust for Carers Annual Review.
  • Ensure the project was delivered within budget.

Activity

  • I carried out a review of the previous year’s annual review to assess target audience and key purpose of the content.
  • Carried out a management consultation on the new Annual Review to identify the audiences and assess priorities for content.
  • Spoke to designers about the Royal Mail posting costs for different size documents.
  • Sourced content and liaised with a copywriter for the final draft text.
  • Worked with the finance team and auditors for the financial accounts.

Results

The result was an A5 24 page Annual Review which was aimed at donors interested in investing in the organisation. It also recognised the contributions made by current donors. This Annual Review came in under budget and was a distinct change to previous Annual Reviews that had been an A4 36 page document. It also came in under the small letter postage cost set by The Royal Mail.

Carers UpdateThe Challenge

Within the charity sector public relations needs to work hand-in-hand with fundraising as it can be a vital tool in enabling fundraising teams to maximise their income. I have worked closely with several fundraising teams and have always looked for fresh ways to not only reach out to new donors, via direct mail appeals for example, but also to communicate with regular donors, keeping them engaged with the organisation’s work and encouraging them to donate in a variety of ways.

Objective

  • One particular charity asked me to find a way to keep regular giving supporters engaged with the organisation and our work in a cost effective way.

Activity

  • I proposed a quarterly newsletter – pdf and a four page two colour (to keep costs down) printed version.
  • I worked with the designers at the direct mail agency to get a template designed which we could then edit in-house on an ongoing basis - this ensured we only paid design costs once.
  • I wrote the content for the newsletter. It included a shopping section featuring our merchandise, as well as a a ‘keep on giving’ section which included ideas on other ways to donate money, such as raffles, legacy giving and payroll giving.

Results

  • The feedback from supporters was very positive.
  • Each time the newsletter was distributed several supporters increased their direct debits.
  • Around Christmas time we generated significant additional income from the sale of Christmas cards and gifts.

 

The Challenge

At a time of change within the health sector and the NHS, a leading Adult Hospice in Essex asked me to carry out an extensive review of their Communications.

Objectives

Carry out a full review of external and internal communications at the Hospice and produce a three-year communications plan, which met the needs of their target audiences.

Activity

  • During October and November I spoke to over 50 members of staff across the organisation and in the shops company to carry out a review of external and internal communications
  • I carried out a full audit of Communications materials and tools
  • I developed and led two Communications workshops with key staff across the Hospice
  • I gave two presentations to the Directors team and met with the Board Directors to discuss my findings

Results

Following a full review I used my communications expertise to devise a three-year communications plan, with internal and external activities, leading up to the Hospice’s 30th Anniversary.  The plan took into account the limited resources of a charity and the sensitive nature of a Hospice’s work.

The Challenge

Leaflets and publications can be a lifesaver to people needing support and advice.  However, if they get out of date, they can cause issues if services have changed or stopped.  Haven House Children’s Hospice asked me to write a series of new publications and update some old materials.

Objectives

To produce text for a selection of new leaflets and brochures that will promote the work of the Hospice and ways you can support their work.

Activity

I met with several members of the fundraising and operations team to gain a full understanding of the ‘House style’ and the information that they would like to communicate.  The work involved:

  • Taking a publication brief for each material and gathering information to help draft the text
  • Writing text for each publication and sourcing family testimonials and interesting facts
  • Working with the team through proof reading and editing to achieve final text for production

Results

At the end of the project I had produced text for several leaflets, a corporate brochure and the charity’s first Annual Review.  I sent the final text to the Marketing manager in a format that was suitable to send straight to the printers and included prompts on the images that should be included in the final materials.