Balancing conflicting demands


Holdsworth Associates was asked to help Bourn Hall – the world’s first IVF clinic – mark the 30th anniversary of IVF.

As well as providing a fun event and celebrating the remarkable work of founders and IVF pioneers Steptoe and Edwards, the Founders’ Day also set out to achieve prime media coverage.


Louise Brown, the first ‘test-tube’ baby, together with representative ‘babies’ from each of the 30 years, were invited, giving a human face to the scientific and medical breakthroughs. This provided a strong image to support the story.

A garden party atmosphere was encouraged, with children’s entertainments, a band, and a buffet lunch with celebratory cake.

Media access was limited to BBC television (as a broadcast exclusive) and the Press Association, in order to strike a balance between a relaxed social event and a media opportunity.


National prime time television coverage was achieved and significant media coverage both nationally and internationally.

Fergus Walsh, of the BBC, attended the event, resulting in prime time national coverage. The Press Association attended, which lead to coverage in a range of national titles and regional media.

Public relations event at Bourn Hall clinic, Cambridge


Other highlights included a full page article in The Economist, and a week-long IVF feature on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s afternoon show.

Following the Founders’ Day, Prof Edwards’ achievements were recognised with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Pride of Britain Awards, which was televised nationally.

Information about Bourn Hall and Prof Edwards was included in a glossy brochure distributed to hundreds of celebrity guests.

©2015 Holdsworth Associates