Appointment: DFDS Seaways welcomes new director of health, safety and security

Posted on Categories Press Releases

DFDS Seaways UK based in Immingham has welcomed a new member to its senior management team.

Steve Price joins the shipping giant from Norwegian oil and gas company Gassco, where he was UK operations manager for four years.

In his new role at DFDS Seaways, Steve will lead a 40 strong team and be responsible for all safety and security operations at the company’s Immingham site as well as managing health and well-being for the company’s 450 employees.

Steve, who was born and raised in Hull, said: “I am thrilled to be joining the DFDS Seaways team at an exciting time for the company. Having previously worked in a variety of industries including oil and gas, construction and major projects I have quite a diverse career background and I’m looking forward to bringing those experiences into my new role at DFDS.”

Andrew Byrne, managing director of DFDS Seaways UK, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Steve to the team. He has a wealth of experience and his expertise gained from working in a range of sectors means he will bring with him new ideas and new ways of looking at things. He joins us at an exciting time as we navigate our way through our growth plans for 2021.”

DFDS Seaways Immingham is based at a 175 acre site with 35 weekly freight sailings.

Photo caption: Left to right, Steve Price, director of health, safety and security, with managing director Andrew Byrne at DFDS Seaways UK HQ, Nordic House, Immingham.

Giving our local animals in need a treat this Christmas

Posted on Categories Press Releases

The Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and district branch of the RSPCA is hoping the local community will help to give all the animals in its care the best Christmas ever.

The charity, which has to raise £1m every year to care for local animals in need, has launched its Christmas meal appeal, encouraging people to buy a tasty dinner, treat or toy for the 60 dogs, cats, ferrets, guinea pigs and other small animals currently homed at its centre in Wade Street, Halifax.

Fundraising manager Lauren Moore said: “Our centre is open every day of the year and we will have animals spending Christmas with us. At Christmas we like to give the animals in our care a special treat. We hang stockings outside their kennels and pens with treats for Christmas morning and we also give them something special on Christmas Eve and throughout the festive period. If you donate to our Christmas meal appeal you are buying them a present and a really nice meal.”

Due to the pandemic, this year has brought specific challenges to the charity. Lauren said: “It’s been a difficult year for us, as it has been for all charities. Donations help us to survive as an animal centre and to continue doing the work that we do. A lot of people don’t realise that we are a separate charity from the national RSPCA. Every local branch, of which there are over 150, is individually registered and we have to raise our own funds from our surrounding community to keep our centre running.”

To find out more about the branch’s Christmas meal appeal, and how to donate, please visit: https://www.rspcahalifaxhuddersfieldbradford.org.uk/christmas-meal-appeal

You can also donate by texting XMASMEAL to 70085 to donate £1; by visiting www.justgiving.com/campaign/christmasmeal or by popping into the RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and district branch in Wade Street, Halifax, to buy a meal ticket.

Photo caption: Billy, aged 1, gets into the festive spirit at the RSPCA’s Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and District animal centre

Holiday bookings helping Yorkshire animals in need

Posted on Categories Press Releases

Photo: Left to right, Rachael Coyne of Jetset Not Just Travel and Lauren Moore, fundraising manager at the RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and district branch, with Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross Angel, a current resident of the branch’s animal centre in Halifax.

Huddersfield based travel agent Jetset Not Just Travel has teamed up with its local RSPCA branch to help raise money towards the £1.5m it needs to find every year to care for animals in need in Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and district.

The local RSPCA animal centre, at Wade Street in Halifax town centre, takes in between 500 and 600 animals a year from the surrounding area and has to raise its own funds to provide expert care for the animals.

When keen animal lovers Rachael and Colman Coyne, who run Jetset Not Just Travel, heard this they knew they wanted to help.

Rachael said: “We love animals and have two Golden Retrievers, Ciera and Polly. When we heard about the wonderful work the Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and district branch of the RSPCA does to help animals in our local area, we wanted to help. The RSPCA is a national charity, but this is in relation to the inspectors who work on animal cruelty investigations. Each local branch across the country relies on donations to be able to carry out its vital work in its specific area.

“The RSPCA Animal Centre in Halifax is a wonderful place where animals who just want to be loved are rehabilitated before being placed in happy and nurturing homes.”

Under the charity partnership, when someone books a holiday through Jetset Not Just Travel and quotes ‘RSPCA’, then the Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and district branch will receive a cut of the commission.

Lauren Moore, Fundraising Manager of the Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford and district branch of the RSPCA, said: “We are really grateful to Jetset Not Just Travel. We rely on local businesses and residents to help us raise money so that we can take care of some of the most needing animals in our communities, many of whom have gone through great trauma. Gestures such as this, from Jetset Not Just Travel, help us to make sure the animals go on to lead happy and healthy lives with their forever families.”

PR consultants win brief with Yorkshire’s Daval Furniture

Posted on Categories Press Releases

Huddersfield based PR consultants Melanie Hill and Alex Mason have been appointed to handle public and media relations strategy for Daval Furniture.

The pair’s brief includes increasing footfall to the company’s showroom in Slaithwaite and raising awareness of the Daval brand and its products, along with providing a press office function.

From its site in the foothills of the Pennines and adjacent to the Leeds/Liverpool Canal, Daval designs and manufactures bespoke fitted kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms and home offices in line with the latest trends and technologies. Providing high quality and sustainable solutions for whatever shape or size of room is the company’s USP.

Hill and Mason, who are based at the Heritage Exchange in Lindley, have collaborated on several projects over the last 18 months. Their joint clients include Inspire North, a charity which provides support for people affected by domestic abuse and mental health issues across the North of England, and Secured Communications, the San Francisco headquartered tech company behind secure videoconferencing platform, Mercury.

Hill said: “We’re delighted to add Daval to our portfolio of clients. We’re looking forward to further increasing awareness of the company which has a proud family heritage and a strong tradition of high-quality craftmanship.”

Mason added: “Daval is a long-established business based in Huddersfield and operating across the UK with 100 retail partners. We’re really pleased to be supporting a local business that hails from Yorkshire but has positioned itself at the fore of the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom industry.”

Daval was founded by cabinet maker David Bodsworth and his wife Alyson in July 1978. From its beginnings in a small shop in Milnsbridge, Huddersfield, the company has grown into large premises in Slaithwaite, which comprise manufacturing, offices and showroom sections, along with 70 staff and an annual turnover of £6m.

The company is now run by the couple’s three sons with Simon, 37, as managing director, Paul, 35, operations director and James, 33, design director.

Simon Bodsworth said: “Alex and Mel’s excellent knowledge of the national and regional media landscape will be instrumental in further establishing our brand and profile, positioning us as a leading manufacturer of high-quality, bespoke furniture.”

Renowned for its quality, Daval products can be found in select stores across the UK. Daval’s showroom at Spa Fields Industrial Estate, New Street, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield, HD7 5BB is open to the public to browse. Due to current Covid restrictions appointments should be made by calling 01484 848500 or emailing enquiries@daval-furniture.co.uk

Hill began her career working as a journalist for her hometown newspaper, The Batley News, before moving to West Yorkshire Police as Media and PR officer for the Bradford district.  She later held roles with British Transport Police and was UK Head of Communications for DB Cargo before establishing Gravity PR in 2018.

Mason worked as a brand manager for fashion retailer, TOPSHOP/TOPMAN – part of the Arcadia Group – until 2012, before holding senior marketing and PR roles at Mamas & Papas and a West Yorkshire PR agency and then founding Alex D Mason PR in 2017.

Yorkshire businesses team up to help holidaymakers prove they are fit to fly

Posted on Categories Press Releases

As proof of a negative Covid-19 test result becomes essential for people travelling to an ever-growing list of countries, two Yorkshire businesses have teamed up to provide a quick and convenient solution.

Many countries now require a mandatory PCR test (showing a negative Covid-19 result) which is carried out 48-96 hours prior to departure.

Huddersfield based travel agency, Jetset Not Just Travel has partnered with Hull’s Atropa Pharmacy and Blood Clinic to provide a one-stop PCR testing and accredited certification service for its customers, who might otherwise be faced with the inconvenience of sourcing and arranging their own Covid-19 tests at very short notice.

Rachael Coyne, director of Jetset Not Just Travel, explained: “As more countries start to enforce local immigration restrictions, passengers travelling overseas face the prospect of requiring a PCR swab test and ‘fit to fly’ certificate to prove that they are Covid-19 free. This is a fast-moving situation with more countries regularly being added to the list.

“Teaming up with Atropa has allowed us to provide a quick and reliable solution to our customers who are due to travel imminently. It goes without saying that these are unprecedented times but, as a responsible travel company, we will always go the extra mile to help people enjoy their holidays safely and to be confident in the knowledge that they have the correct documentation in place.”

Atropa director Bryn Smales said: “By working with Jetset Not Just Travel to provide a bespoke PCR testing and certification service, we can help their customers look ahead to their trip safe in the knowledge that they are fit to fly.

“Our partnership with Jetset Not Just Travel will enable us to provide a one-stop PCR testing and accredited certification service for their customers. We are therefore delighted to be working alongside Jetset Not Just Travel to provide this service and help their clients enjoy a stress-free start to their holiday.”

A PCR swab test, sometimes called an antigen test, looks for signs of active virus in the body and will tell if a person is positive or negative for Coronavirus (Covid-19). The tests need to be processed between 3-5 days before the flight departure depending on the requirements of the country the person is travelling to. Atropa will offer advice to passengers regarding timings of tests in relation to flight times.

The test requires taking a swab from the throat and nose and this sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

With a fast turn-around, Atropa Pharmacy can return a PCR test result within 48 hours of receipt of the test by the laboratory. They will then issue the accredited documentation to prove if the person is Covid-19 free and fit to travel.

Under the partnership, Atropa will offer private testing from their new clinic in Hull and can also send a self-testing swab kit and instructions on how to use it to Jetset Not Just Travel clients who live further afield. It takes 24-48 hours to return the result once the laboratory receives the sample back. This result will be used to form the certification that is required to travel.

The test used is PHE (Public Health England) evaluated and shows a minimum sensitivity greater than 99% and a specificity of greater than 99% when the virus is on the swab with no cross-reactivity with other viruses.

Entry requirements for the country of travel can be found this here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

PR duo secures brief with US tech company behind Super Bowl and NASCAR comms

Posted on Categories Press Releases

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Huddersfield based PR consultants Melanie Hill and Alex Mason have been appointed to handle UK public and media relations strategy for US based tech company, Secured Communications.

The brief is the duo’s first international contract together after teaming up to work on joint PR projects over the last 18 months.

The pair will direct ongoing PR strategy for the San Francisco headquartered tech company’s secure videoconferencing platform, Mercury, in the UK and across Europe, as well as acting as its  press office.

Hill, who founded Gravity PR in 2018, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen by Secured Communications to direct its PR strategy for Mercury in the UK and Europe. Mercury is set to revolutionise the videoconferencing market with its highly secure, encrypted video and audio-conferencing product for businesses, based on technology already trusted by many law enforcement agencies around the world.

“The technology behind the product has already been successfully used in the US during major events including the Super Bowl, NASCAR, the Stanley Cup playoffs and many more security operations.”

Mason, who founded Alex D Mason PR in 2017, said: “Melanie and I are delighted to have secured our first international client after collaborating on several PR briefs over the past 18 months.

“Our approach has proved popular with businesses looking for flexible, multi-skilled PR and media relations support without the commitment and investment often associated with agencies.”

Hill began her career working as a journalist for her hometown newspaper, The Batley News, before moving to West Yorkshire Police as Media and PR officer for the Bradford district.  She later held roles with British Transport Police and was UK Head of Communications for DB Cargo before establishing Gravity PR in 2018.

Mason worked as a brand manager for fashion retailer, TOPSHOP/TOPMAN – part of the Arcadia Group – until 2012, before holding senior marketing and PR roles at Mamas & Papas and a West Yorkshire PR agency and then founding Alex D Mason PR in 2017.

John Parkinson OBE, the UK based president of Secured Communications, said: .“We were very impressed by Melanie and Alex’s work on the PR launch for Mercury in the UK and we are delighted to welcome them on board for the longer term.

“The shift to work-from-home in the corporate world during the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for secure, reliable communication. There is a great demand for a videoconferencing platform that allows users to meet securely without running the risk of disruptions or hackers obtaining sensitive data.

“Our PR activity in the UK and Europe will focus on driving home  to business leaders the need to protect their most sensitive communications and stay in control of vital information.”

Mercury allows users to host videoconference meetings privately and securely via web browser or mobile device without disruptions or leaks of sensitive information, helping businesses to minimise the risk of losses through information hacking, reputational damage and data breach.

Leeds Rhinos legends and Inspire North launch campaign to say there’s #NoExcuseForAbuse

Posted on Categories Press Releases

Leeds Rhinos legends and Inspire North launch campaign to say there’s #NoExcuseForAbuse

As reports of domestic abuse surge during lockdown, Leeds Rhinos legends Kevin Sinfield MBE and Jamie Jones-Buchanan have thrown their weight behind a social media campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse; to urge people who think neighbours are in danger to alert the police; and to say: “There’s no excuse for abuse.”

The campaign, launched this morning, Tuesday May 12, is a partnership between the Leeds Rhinos Foundation and Inspire North, a charity which provides support for people affected by domestic abuse and mental health issues across the North of England.

A report published by the Home Office Affairs Committee on Monday 27 April revealed that calls to the National Domestic Abuse helpline, run by Refuge, increased by 49% in the week prior to 15 April and that research by Counting Dead Women calculated that at least 16 domestic abuse killings of women and children had taken place between 23 March and 12 April, double that of an average 21-day period in the last decade.

Former Great Britain, England and Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield MBE is vice-president of the Leeds Rhinos Foundation and one of the spearheads of the #NoExcuseForAbuse campaign. He encouraged people who suspected their neighbours may be being abused to call the police: “It’s everyone’s responsibility to speak out and alert the authorities if they suspect there is a problem. There are support services that can help,” he said. “A huge team effort by us all can make a big difference to improve the lives of those experiencing abuse. Don’t ignore cries for help. If you believe someone is in immediate danger of domestic abuse, stay safe yourself and dial 999.”

Jamie Jones-Buchanan, a former Great Britain, England and Leeds Rhinos professional RL player, is a trustee of the Leeds Rhinos Foundation and is also at the forefront of the #NoExcuseForAbuse campaign. He said: “In these unprecedented times, where the vast majority of us are helping each other out, it is a massive concern that for too many people lockdown for them is feeling scared, isolated and dangerously vulnerable. If you are experiencing domestic abuse, if you think a neighbour or a loved one may be being abused, call the police. There’s no excuse for abuse.”

The campaign encourages people to show their support by posting videos and photos of themselves on social media holding a piece of paper which says: #NoExcuseForAbuse, and to then tag three people to pass the message on. A video featuring the Leeds Rhinos legends pressing home the message has been released today, Tuesday May 12. Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Kevin Sinfield have also made videos of themselves sharing the message and asking other high-profile sports and entertainment stars to pass it on.

Bob Bowman QPM, Chief Operating Officer of Leeds Rhinos Foundation, is a former Leeds based police officer. He said: “For some, lockdown means spending all day, every day with the person who physically abuses them in their own home. I spent 29 years in the police service where I all too often had to deal with the consequences of domestic abuse. Leeds Rhinos Foundation is very proud to be working with Inspire North on this important campaign which could, quite literally, save lives.”

Ruth Kettle, CEO of Inspire North, said: “We’re very grateful to the Leeds Rhinos Foundation for joining us on this campaign and hopeful that this is the start of a long-term partnership to raise awareness of domestic abuse, and the support services that are available across the North of England. The backing of such a high-profile team is crucial in helping to get this message out there.”

Sinead Cregan, Inspire North’s Director of Development and Innovation, added: “The Gov.UK website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-abuse-how-to-get-helpcontains advice on how to recognise the different types of abuse that can occur, how to report it and how to access support services that can help, whether you are a concerned neighbour or friend, a victim, or if you feel you may be an abuser.

“Don’t suffer in silence. There’s no excuse for abuse.”

She added: “We would also like to thank Rugby AM for their support in this campaign and for editing the video footage.”

West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson OBE is also backing the campaign. He said: “I very much welcome this joint campaign and anything we can do collectively to raise awareness about domestic abuse to help those who are suffering in order to access the help and support they really need is vital.

“As PCC, I am responsible for commissioning local support services for victims of crime, alongside my local government partners who I also provide funding to. This includes services for women, children and men experiencing domestic and sexual abuse.

“Nationally, I also lead on the serious violence portfolio for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) and I’m committed to continuing to raise awareness, and further investment to be put in place for appropriate interventions for perpetrators as well as the victims.

“I want those individuals who need help and support to know they have not been forgotten. There are local and national support services that can help, and I want them to know how they can access this support and that we can help during these really challenging times, whether or not someone feels able to report to the Police.

“If you are in immediate danger, you must call 999 and those who feel they are unable to speak or feel too scared to do so after placing the call, you can press 55 on your phone to alert the police. For more information see here.”

-Ends-

For further information please contact PR consultants to Inspire North Melanie Hill (mel@gravitypr.co.uk/07527 847423) or Alex Mason (alex@alexdmasonpr.com/07983726119)

Time For a Spring Clean

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Here in the UK we’re entering week 3 of the lockdown in response to the spread of Covid-19. Many people are working from home. It’s a good opportunity to get those jobs and tasks done that we’ve been meaning to do for ages, including having a good Spring clean of our websites and social media channels.

Case study: Jetset Not Just Travel

Posted on Categories Case Study

Case study 09 April 2020

Client: Jetset Not Just Travel

Jetset Not Just Travel is an award-winning travel consultancy in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, which is run by husband and wife team Rachael and Colman Coyne.

The brief:

Jetset Not Just Travel approached Gravity PR in October 2019 to provide strategic PR and communications to increase brand awareness.

The company, founded in 2013, had built up a solid client base and was looking to expand this further to a wider audience whilst still retaining its core values of providing an excellent, personal and reliable service.

The strategy:

Crucial to the company’s success to date is the individual service provided to each customer, no matter where they may be in the world, 24/7. It’s this personal service, always delivered to customers directly by either Rachael or Colman, that sets the company apart and has contributed to their loyal customer base.

Promoting the real people behind the brand, therefore, was a key part of the PR strategy.

Every person and every company has a story to tell that is worthy of gaining positive media coverage. For Jetset Not Just Travel there were two immediate, news-worthy hooks:

  • The couple met whilst working for West Yorkshire Police in Bradford. Colman was a detective sergeant and Rachael was the helpdesk supervisor and so becoming travel agents was a huge career change – “from dealing with some of the worst periods in people’s lives to providing some of the best memories in people’s lives”
  • Three months after investing a large sum of money into their new business Rachael was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went through two operations and five months of intensive chemotherapy. Alongside the very personal worries, which were paramount, the couple also feared they would lose the investment in their business as Rachael was too ill to work in it for many months. She was happy to talk openly about that most difficult of times in the couple’s lives because it was an inspiring story full of hope. Even though things were bleak at that time, Rachael, with Colman always by her side, fought through and is now healthy, happy and running the successful business of her dreams that turned over £1.2m last year!

In the following months, two further issues affected the travel industry for which Jetset Not Just Travel could provide expert comment for the media:

  • The collapse of Thomas Cook
  • The Covid-19 pandemic

Press releases, along with media pitches tailored to specific journalists, were distributed to secure story placements, interview slots and more in-depth feature articles.

The result:

Examples of media take-up in first six months (October 2019 – March 2020):

BBC Radio Leeds:

October 2019: Live, in-studio interview with Colman and Rachael speaking of their career changes from the police to travel agents, along with Rachael’s battle with cancer

January 2020: Colman Coyne interviewed live regarding the latest travel advice to China as the outbreak of Covid-19 began to take hold

March 2020: Rachael Coyne interviewed live re her parents almost being stranded in Australia due to Coronavirus lockdown and how they were currently on their way back to UK via Hong Kong

Yorkshire Post:

December 2019: Double page spread in the Lifestyle supplement: “We used to send people to prison, now we send them on holiday”

https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/heritage-and-retro/heritage/we-used-send-people-prison-now-we-send-them-holiday-couple-who-gave-50-years-police-run-their-own-travel-agents-1746356

January 2020: ‘Travel agency wins gong for rugby trip’

Huddersfield Examiner:

November 2019: Breast Cancer diagnosis helped Huddersfield couple take plunge in business:

https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/news/breast-cancer-diagnosis-helped-huddersfield-17170528

January 2020: ‘Rugby trip earns award for Jetset’ – Jetset Not Just Travel wins award for group booking of 77 rugby league players and their families to Australia ‘Rugby trip earns award for Jetset’

March 2020: “The husband and wife team behind Jetset Not Just Travel have been working 16-hour days helping customers affected by the travel restrictions relating to Covid-19.”

The Business Desk:

March 2020: The Monday Interview

https://www.thebusinessdesk.com/yorkshire/news/2052542-monday-interview-colman-and-rachael-coyne-of-jetset-not-just-travel

Ongoing activity:

Work is ongoing to achieve further media coverage and PR opportunities.

Client’s view:

Rachael and Colman said: “We have known Mel for nearly 20 years since our previous employment with West Yorkshire Police, where she was a press officer. From the first day we met up with Mel again, she took the time to understand our aims and objectives and how we wished to take our business forward.

“We are very pleased with the results so far. We have been presented to newspapers, magazines and radio. This is something we would never have been able to do ourselves without substantial costs involved whereby we would have had to buy advertising space.

“We’re writing this in April 2020, in the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic. In the current climate we need Mel more than ever to help promote our business and to keep us at the forefront of our potential customers.”

Conclusion:

The travel industry is fast paced, with global developments often having an effect on people’s holiday plans. In such an environment, alongside a structured six to 12 months PR activity plan, it is important for PR professionals to react quickly and professionally to breaking news stories and developments in order to keep their client at the forefront in the media, and therefore consumers’ minds, in this very competitive market.

Case study: Inspire North

Posted on Categories Case Study

Client: Inspire North

Inspire North’s HQ is in Leeds. The charity provides support for those affected by domestic abuse and mental health issues, as well as providing housing support across the North of England.


Inspire North has over 500 employees and 3,000 service users across all its functions. It placed 29th in the Sunday Times list of ‘100 Best Not for Profit Organisations to Work For in 2020’.

Mel & Alex:

Melanie Hill, founder of Gravity PR and Alex Mason, of Alex D Mason PR, have a modern and flexible approach to how they work together. They each have their own separate clients, along with joint ones, and they share an office in Huddersfield (along with three plants and a sofa that had a somewhat difficult journey in the back of an estate car from their local Ikea!) It works for them.

The brief:

On March 23rd, just hours before UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a country-wide lockdown in response to Covid-19, Mel and Alex were approached to provide PR and media relations support for Inspire North.

The initial requirement was to raise the profile of the vital work that the charity does, but of immediate concern was how the coronavirus outbreak would affect Inspire North’s day to day services, the people it helps and how PR could be used to raise awareness of this.

Having never met in person before, and observing the home-working advice to limit the spread of the virus, Mel and Alex held a voice call with Sinead Cregan, Inspire North’s development and innovation director.

The immediate PR and communications needs were clear – there was a huge concern that, as lockdown approached, domestic violence incidents would rise as victims would be forced to spend longer than ever behind doors with their abusers. From a PR perspective, the decision was taken to push out crucial advice and information about the support available to victims during lockdown with the aim of achieving regional and national media coverage .

The strategy:

Key concerns around the emerging issue of victims being locked in their homes with perpetrators during lockdown were researched and turned into factual, succinct and hard-hitting key messages for a ‘media pitch’ detailing bullet points of five specific concerns. The information also included general background about Inspire North. The pitch was kept short and succinct, getting across the main facts from which the busy media could grasp the issue quickly as part of the evolving news agenda.

Alex and Mel then pushed this pitch to journalists and producers both regionally and nationally, using targeted media relations to secure interview slots and opportunities for comment for Sinead Cregan. This included maintaining a constant dialogue with journalists and providing detailed follow-up information quickly and precisely where requested, prior to print/broadcast.

The result:

Examples of the immediate media take-up:

National coverage

02 April: Sinead Cregan interviewed live on the Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 – circa 7 million listeners

02 April: Planned live interview with Sinead Cregan with Dermot Murnaghan on Sky News – postponed

04 April: Sinead Cregan interviewed live on the Harriet Minter Show on Talk Radio circa 100k listeners

Regional coverage

24 March (1 day into the PR contract): Interview with Sinead Cregan appears in the Yorkshire Post online: https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/health/coronavirus/leeds-charitys-fears-over-domestic-violence-spike-during-lockdown-2513893

30 March: Sinead Cregan interviewed live on the Stephanie Hirst Show on BBC Radio Leeds

3rd April: Sinead Cregan interviewed by BBC Look North, with interview broadcast on both lunchtime and teatime bulletins

Ongoing activity:

Work is ongoing to gain more momentum for this important message, including key stakeholder endorsements – announcements to follow.

Client’s view:

Sinead Cregan, Director of Development and Innovation at Inspire North, said:

“It has been an absolute joy working with both Alex and Mel especially as I have not done very much media work previously. Their proactive approach to the brief meant that we were able to get our concerns into the media really quickly and hopefully that will have made a difference to anyone affected by domestic abuse.

“As a group we took the decision to invest in a PR company and to date the return on our modest investment has been truly excellent. Alex and Mel have a great down to earth approach and we have found a way of working together whilst sat in our separate homes in the throes of the pandemic.”

Conclusion:

These are new and testing times; organisations which already provide services for those who need it most must get vital safety messages into the public domain professionally and as quickly as possible.

Mel and Alex were able to use their combined 30 years plus PR experience to promote the message quickly, succinctly and appropriately, which has already gained excellent take up from the media in just the first two weeks of the campaign.