AIA: ALARM Survey 2018

Shout! supported James Reed PR with a broadcast campaign for their client the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) in March 2018. This was the third year we had supported them with the release of the Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey.

The Project

The AIA produces the annual ALARM survey to provide a detailed picture of the condition of the local road network and enable insightful analysis of road maintenance and funding issues. Now in its 23rd year, ALARM represents a report card on the state of local roads – which make up 98% of the road network on which we all rely.

The survey is widely respected throughout industry as well as local and national government as the most authoritative and comprehensive study into local road maintenance funding and condition. Funding for adequate road maintenance has fallen short for so many years that further deterioration is inevitable. The AIA’s aim is to urge local authorities, government and the general public to recognise the importance of the road network and its value to society.

What We Did

We were brought in to this campaign while the data for the 2018 survey was being collated. We worked with James Reed PR to try and find a new angle on the story and pull out from it what we thought the most headline grabbing lines and stats were from this year’s report. We travelled down to Bristol to film some of the worst hit areas with poor road conditions and numerous amounts of potholes. We produced B-Roll footage with interviews with AIA Director David Weeks. This content was then pitched to TV broadcasters alongside our broadcast news release. Once we received the final press release from James Reed PR we worked it into our broadcast cue and created regional releases highlighting the best and worst areas in the country. We then embarked on a TV and Radio sell-in covering all National TV and Radio as well as Regional TV and Radio including BBC and Commercial outlets.


The main challenge with this campaign is trying to keep it fresh year on year. We had to find a new angle and top line so that broadcasters did not feel that it is same old same old. Whilst there is always appetite on broadcast for stories about roads and the survey has become a bit of a set piece for them, it still needs to have a news hook and a fresh spin than the previous year. This year it was found that spending has actually increased so on the face of it seemingly the government and local authorities were increasing their efforts and the problem may get better.

The other challenge was logistics. Whilst a good problem to have, it can be very hard with a project like this that is so visual to accommodate all broadcasters needs. With this in mind it was really useful to have B-Roll and so many available spokespeople in different parts of the country, in order to help us maximise coverage across the whole campaign.


The campaign was again a great success with fantastic coverage secured across TV and Radio. Nationally we secured features on BBC Breakfast, BBC News 24 and ITV News with the story going out 14 times across all 3 throughout the day.

Overall coverage outlets for this campaign reached 14 TV’s and 36 Radio’s, so 50 pieces of coverage with 12 of those national and a total combined reach for the campaign of 104 million!

“This was our third year of working with Shout! for the launch of the Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) Survey and once again Arthur, Catherine and the team surpassed our expectations. They are a great team to work with, providing insightful feedback on the development of our news hooks, swift turnaround on all parts of the campaign and beyond excellent results. What is also clear is that their media contacts hold them in high regard and enjoy dealing with them. We can’t recommend them highly enough – they are a joy to work with.’’ Samantha Stagg – MD, James Reed PR

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