Millions of us take overseas holidays every year but not everyone is aware of the pitfalls that can await the unprepared. In one year, 1,368 Britons were arrested in the USA; 955 hospitalised in Greece; 376 died in France and a staggering 6,078 lost their passports in Spain.
These and many other astonishing facts and figures were a key component of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s ‘Know Before You Go’ campaign.
The aim of the campaign was to highlight some of the key problems that Brits get into abroad, and create interview opportunities for experts offering advice to holidaymakers on how to prepare for their trip sensibly, ensuring they have insurance, local knowledge and behave appropriately whilst abroad.
To maximise broadcast interview opportunities, two junior ministers and additional FCO spokesperson were made available for Radio and TV stations starting with Breakfast Shows and lasting throughout the day.
The wealth of statistics made ideal material for newsrooms whilst the more expansive advice when highlighting the problems people get into when abroad could be effectively used for feature programmes on radio and television.
The coverage across the broadcast media was thoroughly impressive. At least 142 UK radio stations covered the story, with a combined weekly reach of approximately 47 million and more than 12 hours of airtime. Stations included Heart, LBC, IRN, BBC Radio 5 Live, Sky News Radio, and a series of major commercial and local BBC stations.
Television coverage was equally impressive with GMTV, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, BBC News 24 and Channel 5 News covering the story. At least 18 million people tuned in to watch the coverage with the junior ministers.
Click here to watch highlights of the TV coverage.