Tag Archives | public relations

Changing behaviour with cross-channel campaign

Devise and implement a communications campaign for the NSPCC that would help change parent child-shaking behaviour, helping to prevent the serious injury or child death that can occur as a result.


  • 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 a behaviour-change campaign

How we did it?

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

The relative size different between an adult and a child is the major reason why babies are so vulnerable. In considering the size difference, we approached the Saints rugby team to work with us on the campaign. An image of them with a child would explain visually and with impact the campaign key message.

The Saints rugby team modelled for the poster campaign and participated in a press event to launch the campaign. A package of media-content including research, case studies and spokesperson comment was developed to ensure sustain media coverage.

In addition, a multi-agency conference was held to promote understanding of the signs and symptoms.

NSPCC child protection campaign


  • Over 200 more health professional training packs were requested – in addition to those already widely distributed
  • The posters received high levels of public engagement
  • On-target media coverage was sustained through national, regional and trade, print, broadcast and online media

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Personalising investments to achieve media results

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 (CIC) 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 way for development for improved therapies.

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

How we did it?

The technology being developed by Congenica was complex and the funding amount, although substantial for Cambridge, was not significant for City papers.  Our media strategy therefore focused 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 compelling PR story.

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

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


  • Extensive coverage on major online news sites, including Daily Mail Online, ITV News and on over 100 regional news sites
  • Interview with Al Jazeera, gained international coverage, and an interview with Dr Tom Weaver was also broadcast on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
  • BBC Look East report comprising a pre-recorded segment and a live interview with Dr Tom Weaver. The pre-record was also available to view online as part of BBC Health
  • Regional print coverage across the country, including Eastern Daily Press and front page on Business Weekly

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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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
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