Services Archives: Media Relations

Communicating deep tech to wider audiences

Accelerator research is of great value to science, society and industry, but this technology does not traditionally feature in mainstream media, nor is it part of school curricula. Public awareness of how accelerators work therefore remains low despite their importance.

To address this challenge, the QUASAR Group at the University of Liverpool has taken a novel approach to public engagement to make the benefits of its research accessible and understandable.

Its wide-ranging outreach activities support by strategic communication have engaged tens of millions people around the globe, improved public understanding of accelerator science, triggered public debate and set best practice for science communication.



Holdsworth Associates worked closely with Professor Carsten Welsch, Head of Physics at Liverpool University, on a series of communication projects to make the cutting-edge research relevant to audiences beyond accelerator physicists.

For example, a series of articles and teaching resources were created for the publication ‘Science in Schools’. Using the theme of Star Wars, to make the subject more accessible to pupils, the resources supported the teaching of accelerator physics by non-specialists.



  • Stories generated for the mainstream and scientific media with themes such as ‘Plugging the skills gap’; ‘What’s the (anti)matter?’; ‘What have particle accelerators ever done for us?’; ‘Do you want to boldly go where science has not gone before?’ – enabled engagement with non-traditional audiences in the UK, Europe and the Americas
  • News stories about new developments created coverage in media, including: BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC’s Naked Scientists, The Times, Times Higher Education and New Statesman (UK), IFL Science (USA), Horizon Magazine and EU Research Magazine (EU), Die Welt (Germany), and BBC Mundo (Spanish-speaking world) – improving awareness of Liverpool’s accelerator R&D and the projects.
  • Articles in scientific and technology press  –  including Scientific American (USA), New Scientist, New Electronics, BBC Science Focus, Laboratory News, Physics World, UKSPA Magazine, Materials World, Science (EU), and CERN Courier deepened knowledge about the Group’s technology developments.

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Supporting advocacy campaigns

Research by the charity Oasis Community Housing has revealed that 94% of people facing homelessness have experienced one or more traumatic incidents that have left them unable to access the help they need. The charity approached Holdsworth Associates to help them maximise the impact of its first advocacy campaign.

Strategy and implementation

Working collaboratively with the in-house teams, Holdsworth Associates reviewed the research document and created a compelling message and call to action for the media relations.

The story line was developed and supported with evidence and a case-study of a service user.

National and broadcast media plus industry publications were targeted to reach a range of influencers and policy makers and consumer-facing  publications such as the Big Issue were approached to gain both pull and push for the recommendations of the report.

We identified the key journalists through research and engaged with them, pitching the story to enable them to create individualised stories relevant for their audiences.

Media training with the Chief Executive and briefing of project managers ensured that key messages were communicated.

Want your message heard?  Contact us to support you.

David Smith launching the Report


  • Quality coverage in strategic media targets including national media and broadcast
  • Creation of warm, receptive journalist contacts for future stories
  • Profile for the charity and its work
  • Additional resource for the in-house team, adding value at short notice

The Oasis Community Housing Campaigns Manager was delighted with the support and the outcomes:

“In two months alone we’ve had almost 80 people sign our online pledge in support of the campaign – written questions on trauma and homelessness have been placed in the House of Commons by the Shadow Homelessness Minister, and we have had an invitation to sit with her at a sector roundtable. Not to mention all the media coverage and social mentions.

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From spin-out to international player


To raise profile of a spin-out company with investors, clinical influencers, healthcare commissioners and potential partners and clients.

The brief

Congenica was a spin-out from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. It gained funding to convert its prototype product from a research project to a robust solution for the Genomics England 100,000 Genomes project. Holdsworth Associates was asked to raise its profile following the initial funding.

Congenica - From spin-out to international player

Delivering results

Our campaign was so successful – generating significant national interest and international broadcast coverage – that we were invited to support the company with a sustained PR campaign to support its growth. With our support, the company grew from 5 to 50 people and gained international exposure.

Through a creative approach to PR over 36 months we generated 37 press releases and 12 feature articles, including a review in the Journal of Precision Medicine that we researched and drafted. This resulted in coverage in over 130 publications – including the client’s Tier One targets – both in print and online.

We supported this media relations strategy through interviews with senior NHS clinicians talking about the potential of the technology and the impact of Congenica’s solution.

We also sourced patients through patient support groups and physicians that were prepared to talk about their experiences, which created human interest stories.

Coverage in publications including:

National: BBC Health News, BBC Radio 4, ITV News, Financial Times, Metro, The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Times, Fortune

Science and technology: Nature, The Journal of Precision Medicine, Laboratory News, Personalised Medicine, Engineering and Technology Magazine

Regional: BBC Look East, BBC North West Tonight, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, Eastern Daily Press

I want to thank you for helping us over the last few years in building our company’s profile. You did a really good job, and I will certainly recommend you to my friends and colleagues setting up newcos.

Tom Weaver

Congenica President

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Creating strong business stories


HSBC had been involved in a number of important deals, but had received little public recognition for its involvement. Holdsworth Associates was asked to create a PR campaign which would support HSBC’s position as a good partner for mergers and acquisitions within the mid market.

How we did it?

Financial announcements are usually dry and of little interest to the regional media, so we decided to look at the people behind the deals and the long term benefit of selecting HSBC to the growth and stability of the company.

To create coverage within the Midlands regional and with business trade media, a series of case studies who had benefited from the deals were created to show the success of businesses – using the news hook of one year on. These were first person accounts based on interviews we conducted with with mid market directors.


  • On target, sustained coverage in financial and business media and local stories in regional business pages
  • Quotes obtained from the company directors provided strong independent endorsement of HSBC. This raised the profile of the team with accountants and other potential partners as well
HSBC - Creating strong business stories

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Delivering consumer PR: from tech start-up to Apple app

Holdsworth Associates helped ViewRanger go from start-up to international player with public relations


  • Launch ViewRanger
  • Raise the brand and product’s profile with potential customers in the UK and overseas
  • Support the company’s business development

How we did it?

Throughout our three years working with Augmentra, we created a sustained communications campaign by identifying and developing a regular flow of company/product stories aimed at different sections of the media. Press releases were researched, drafted and distributed on a monthly basis to a wide range of media including: outdoor pursuits, smartphone apps, travel, general interest and many more. During this time we built good relationships with key journalists who were interested in the technology.

In order to sustain a flow of newsworthy press releases we looked beyond straight ‘announcement’ stories. For example, we recognised that ViewRanger is great for locating friends on mountainsides, and even at music festivals, and created a light-hearted media story about using ViewRanger to find your tent which appealed to Chris Evans and secured 20 minutes on BBC Radio 2’s drivetime radio.

We proposed, planned and coordinated activities that would raise ViewRanger’s profile directly with potential customers. This included helping ViewRanger support charity activities such as The Incredible Solar Electric Flight and Hannah 100.

Additionally, we arranged support for walking festivals and gained a prime position for our client in the ‘Best British Walk’ category of the Great British Life website.

To ensure ViewRanger reached a wider audience, we also supported international launches securing coverage in the USA and Germany.

ViewRanger at Apple launch event - Apple Watch Series 2 app


Coverage was sustained throughout the whole period in newspapers, magazines, broadcast, local and online media – appearing in over 250 different publications.

Highlights include: an interview with Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2; articles in The Independent and Daily Mail Weekend; and in magazines covering a range of hobbies such as Trek and Mountain magazine, Outdoor Photography, What Mountain Bike and Birding World.

The Viewranger app was reviewed by 35 journalists in a variety of media including BBC Wildlife, The Sunday Times and Country Walking magazine. During the time we worked with ViewRanger, we were delighted to support its growth from an early stage start-up to an established business.

Return project: PR to launch the Apple Watch Series 2

In September 2016, Holdsworth Associates were again asked to support ViewRanger thanks to the success of our earlier work.

ViewRanger was to be one of the launch apps for the Apple Watch Series 2, to be announced at the annual Apple event held in San Fransisco. In a live stage demo (pictured above), Head of Design Hannah Catmur took the audience on a virtual hiking tour of Four Mile Trail in the USA’s Yosemite National Park with the ViewRanger app providing turn-by-turn directions and highlighting key route features such as viewpoints, camping locations, and waterfalls.

Client comment

Holdsworth Associates produced results – good results – which helped us to establish our brand, raise our profile with initial investors, and grow our business.

Craig Wareham, Co-founder and CEO

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Generating national media interest for World Atlas launch

How do you create high-profile media interest with the launch of text book? This is the challenge we achieved for the UNEP - World Conservation Monitoring Centre.


To achieve impact with a new report, it is vital to create a compelling package of engaging content.

The World Atlas of Great Apes was to be launched by UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre ahead of an important convention.

Although an interesting subject, the book was a collation of pre-existing information and contained nothing new. Holdsworth Associates was tasked with making the Atlas headline grabbing.

How we did it?

We analysed the book and interviewed its contributors. Although the Atlas contained no new data or statistics, it was the first time this information had been brought together in one place. We created an infographic to highlight this and used anecdotes, gathered from contributers, to provide journalists with the real-life stories behind the data.

London Zoo was approached to provide a launch venue and offer real-time broadcast images, while we invited conservationists and other specialists to speak to the media about the challenges they face.


The Atlas launch received international and national media coverage, including:

  • BBC Breakfast
  • BBC One O’Clock News
  • BBC Radio 4
  • BBC Newsround
  • The Times
  • The Guardian
  • The Financial Times
  • The Independent
  • New Scientist
  • Nature
  • BBC Wildlife and other consumer press

Sales of the Atlas exceeded expectations. The Atlas was referenced throughout the following week as the Kinshasa Conference progressed and it is now considered a key text by the media for great ape population and conservation data.

World Atlas of Great Apes

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