Seafarers UK

the story

For one week each year, the leading maritime charity, Seafarers UK, tries to raise awareness across the country of how vital the nation’s seafarers – sailors, fishermen, port workers, ferry crews etc. – are to the economy and culture of our island nation.

the challenge

In 2019, the spectre of Brexit combined with a raft of new legislation on the horizon were being seen as further nails in the coffin of an industry already hard hit by declining catches, dwindling fleets and growing hardship for fishing communities around the UK. Having worked successfully for Seafarers UK on previous awareness weeks which focussed more on positive stories about the sector, the charity approached us for a radical new lobbying approach in 2019 to raise awareness of this looming crisis.

the answer

We advised that the best way to tell the story of the challenges faced by the sector was to tell it to the public through the voices of the fishing community itself; case studies that told the story in a personal way that the watching and listening audience could relate to. So began several weeks of tracking down fishermen and women in every TV and radio region in the country willing to tell their story, either on camera or over the airwaves. The response was phenomenal, many offered to give up a day’s fishing to be available for media requests.

To support the story and give TV and online journalists access to footage that would be too time consuming or dangerous to source themselves, we compiled B-Roll and a hard hitting video of one particular fishing community; Selsey in Sussex, the oldest fishing community in the UK.

the successes

Over 100 regional TV newsrooms, radio stations and websites ran our story focussing on local fishing communities in their patch. In addition, Sky News, BBC News Channel and TalkRadio also broadcast powerful interviews with our spokespeople drawing attention to the issue.

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