Tag Archives | public relations

Changing behaviour with an awareness campaign


Shaking babies can result in serious injury or death. Holdsworth Associates was asked by the NSPCC to devise and implement a communications campaign that would help change behaviours. It had the following objectives:

• Raise awareness of the vulnerability of babies and their need for careful treatment

• Create recognition of the early signs that a baby is at risk

• Encourage parents under stress to ask for help

• Provide a pilot model for planning and implementation of an awareness campaign.


Many child protection awareness campaigns rely on shock to get the message across. It was felt that in this campaign, while it was important to stress the severity of the problem, we wanted to engage with the audience and empower them to take the next stage.

The relative size different between an adult and a child is the major reason why babies are vunerable – the Saints rugby team are huge and it was felt that an image of them with a child would explain visually and powerfully the messages of the campaign.

NSPCC child protection campaign

Action taken

The Saints rugby team modelled for a poster campaign and participated in a media launch event. Photographs of the Saints were used by the media.

A media briefing pack with quotes, research, case-studies  and anecdotes was prepared to create sustained coverage.

Training packs were created for healthcare professionals and distributed widely.

A multi-agency conference was held to promote understanding of the signs and symptoms.


All the steering group felt that the campaign had not only met but also exceeded its objectives. Further copies of the teaching pack were requested – over 200.

Demand for the posters also exceeded expectations – in fact they were so popular copies were stolen! Sympathetic sustained coverage was achieved in media throughout the country.

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Generating media interest with investment stories

Generating media interest with investment stories - CIC Congenica

When generating media interest in investment stories, adding human interest can make them relevant to key audiences.


Cambridge Innovation Capital, was to announce a £1million investment in the start-up company Congenica, a spinout from  the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Congenica, has developed a  diagnostic engine for Whole Genome Analysis, which provides new insights into rare genetic disorders. Although not a treatment, it would allow patients and their families to be better informed about their conditions and pave the development for improved therapies.

Both CIC and Congenica required coverage of the announcement to support  their respective aims


The technology being developed by Congenica was complex and the funding amount, although substantial for Cambridge, was not significant for city papers.  The strategy therefore focussed on the human impact of the investment and what it would mean to families to gain a diagnosis and hence a prognosis.

Holdsworth Associates sourced patient case-studies and quotes from patient support groups and experts to build a story.

This approach gained coverage in wide range of media and enabled journalists from different disciplines to understand the potential of the technology.

Working closely with key journalists ensured that the story was covered sensitively and all the key messages were communicated effectively.


  • Extensive coverage on major online news sites, including Daily Mail Online and ITV News, and on over 100 regional news sites.
  • Regional print coverage across the country, including Eastern Daily Press and front page on Business Weekly.
  • BBC Look East report comprising recorded segment and a live interview with Dr Tom Weaver; the recorded piece was also available to view online as part of their Health News story (available here as of April 2017).
  • Interview with Tom Weaver broadcast on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
  • Interview with Al Jazeera to gain international coverage.

Some of the publications in which coverage was achieved included:

  • The Journal of Precision Medicine
  • Personalised Medicine
  • Drug Discovery World
  • Drug Target Review
  • Engineering and Technology Magazine
  • Labmate UK
  • Laboratory News
  • Manufacturing Chemist
  • Financial Times
  • Fortune
  • Scrip Intelligence
  • The Guardian
  • The Herald
  • The Telegraph
  • The Times
  • Angel News
  • Belfast Telegraph
  • Bio IT World
  • BioSpace
  • Business Weekly
  • Cabume
  • Cambridge Independent
  • genomeweb
  • Labiotech
  • News Medical
  • One Nucleus
  • pharmaphorum
  • Pharmafile
  • Pharmiweb
  • Science Business
  • UK BioIndustry Association
  • Yahoo Finance
  • Muscular Dystrophy News
  • Nature
  • BBC Look East
  • BBC North West Tonight
  • BBC Radio 4
  • BBC Radio Cambs
  • Innovate UK
  • ITV News
  • Cambridge News
  • Cambridge TV
  • City AM
  • Clinical Lab Products
  • Closing Circle
  • Computer Weekly
  • Digital Health
  • Eastern Daily Press
  • Heart FM
  • Fierce Biotech IT / Fierce Diagnostics
  • Front Line Genomics
  • Metro
  • MSN UK
  • PE Hub
  • Pharmafocus
  • PharmaTimes
  • unquote
  • BioPortfolio
  • Biotech and Money
  • Digital Media Net
  • Driven by Health with Care
  • Expert Review of Precision Medicine and Drug Development
  • Innovation Nexus
  • insider media
  • Iowa Science Interface

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