Objectives: The UK’s leading fertility association was keen to provide a balanced view on the preliminary results of a pioneering new technique which could have a profound effect on the treatment of infertility over the next few years.
Infertility affects more than 3.5 million people in the UK alone and while the cause can be identified in the majority of cases, as many as a third remain unexplained. So it was important to prevent the media from sensationalising the results.
Approach: Having specialist knowledge and an acute awareness of the ethical and political sensitivities associated with their field, a series of key messages was developed to be communicated to a targeted list of media contacts within the national and local broadcast and print media.
We worked to provide healthcare journalists and scientific writers with the exact information they needed, whilst ensuring they were able to have contact with us 24/7 with a 30-minute guaranteed turnaround rule put in place for each and every enquiry.
The main media spokesperson for the client was unavailable so we had to prepare an alternative spokesperson to serve in their place. She was one of the leading scientists who had worked on the project and while she had no previous media exposure, she was able to speak with authority on the subject.
We guided her on what she could expect to be asked, how to respond, the key messages to stick to and to use language and a tone of voice that will resonate with non-scientific as well as scientifically-informed audiences.
Outcome: The client was effectively positioned as the ‘go to’ organisation on fertility research.
We secured seven national and international TV interviews, including BBC Newsnight, Channel 4, SKY News Lunchtime with Adam Boulton and Al Jazeera, in addition to several national radio interviews and national press clippings.
The story made the front page of The Guardian the following day and in total the audience reached exceeded 21 million.