After six people died in five separate incidents on UK beaches in 48 hours and then just days later five more drowned in the tragedy at Camber Sands, we approached the RNLI suggesting that together we could harness the power of TV and radio to offer safety advice to the millions of people about to flock to beaches for the August 2016 Bank Holiday weekend. Despite the UK’s strong beach culture, many people are still unaware of the dangers of the sea. The RNLI, whose broadcast media relations and video production partner we’ve been for well over a decade, agreed and asked us to target national TV and radio. We had two working days to set up the coverage.
We invited crews down for live interviews at the RNLI Lifeguard Unit on Bournemouth Beach, where we also had a radio OB unit for those broadcasters who were studio-bound. Key to our offering wasn’t just the excellent RNLI national Beach Safety Managers and lifeguards but Phil Bindon. Phil is determined to help prevent other families suffering the tragedy his did in 2014 after his son was swept into the sea in by a freak wave, never to be seen again.
We created the following opportunities for the spokespeople to get the safety messaging to the public: two primetime live satellite interviews into BBC Breakfast; four into Sky Sunrise and then Sky News; both the BBC and Sky then filming for subsequent packages; BBC Radio 4’s Today programme sending a reporter for their long live; Sky News Radio distributing an interview to all the UK’s 300+ commercial stations; and further lives into LBC and several regional BBC radio stations. Sky News topped their coverage with a ten minute Facebook Live streamed Q&A from the Lifeguard Unit which pulled in 25,000 views of which 14,000 were live.
“I wanted to say a big thank you for pulling out all the stops once again to help us secure some really excellent safety coverage ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend. It was certainly a frantic few days but well worth the effort and we’re very pleased with the results.” Laura Haslam, RNLI PR Manager: