A story about the state of the nation’s roads, pegged for the day after Boris Johnson’s announcement that the UK was to be put into lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19. That doesn’t sound the most promising of starts, but the result was a pleasing 14 radio opportunities, including two branded credits on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.
We worked with James Reed PR and their client, the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) to secure broadcast coverage for their annual ALARM Report, on potholes. This year was key for the AIA as it marked 25 years of campaigning about the state of the UK’s roads. Their key audience includes local authorities and the Highways Agency as well as the general public.
Our task was to secure regional and national broadcast coverage, against the background of Coronavirus.
Having achieved extensive coverage in previous years for the same report, the challenge was to work with James Reed PR to find a new angle. A hard line was taken, one that concluded the Chancellor’s additional £2.5 billion pothole pledge was a step in the right direction, but not enough to fix the backlog of road repairs.
We also produced fresh B-roll, so broadcasters who covered the story in previous years felt it was a different approach.
At the point we were preparing to sell-in the story Coronavirus was already being covered extensively in the news, particularly nationally. All but key workers had been told to work from home, meaning we and our clients were unable to go to our radio studio and had to produce the radio day remotely.
This meant both the spokesperson and our producer working from their own homes. The spokesperson had been given a list of interviews to expect and where possible we got broadcasters to call them. Our producer meanwhile called up ahead of each interview and advised the spokesperson by email and text.
Given the circumstances the result was an impressive 14 opportunities, including a mention on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, 7 interviews and 6 mentions on regional radio. This gave a total reach of nearly 15 million listeners.
Hear the Today programme mention here: