Ordnance Survey

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We supported map experts Ordnance Survey (OS) with a summer broadcast campaign to promote their National Map Reading Week.  This was one of several projects in a three year long contract.

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The Project

National Map Reading Week is an annual event dedicated to promoting the skills and benefits of map reading and encourages people of all ages to engage with maps, learn essential navigation skills, and ultimately enjoy the great outdoors.

What We Did

Research led stories are the backbone of many PR campaigns and there is still a huge appetite for content like this, so we commissioned research to find out what makes a perfect walk.  For the record it’s a circular route between 1 and 4 miles – with lovely weather, a fab view and flat terrain!

OS were also keen to find out how many Brits actually use a map on their walk and the survey also found that surprisingly more than half of Brits don’t take a map and a third are nervous of their map reading skills which made a really topical talking point for broadcasters.

Having a third-party spokesperson significantly improves the chances of securing coverage and we recommended the Map Men – AKA Jay Foreman and Mark Cooper-Jones. They front Map Men on YouTube a mix of comedy and geography and their videos regularly attract 1.5 million views.

Having the right mix of spokespeople is critical to success . The MD of OS Consumer Nick Giles was on hand to explain the importance of map reading but having the third party Map Men ensured coverage on BBC stations in particular. We knew that broadcasters would be interested in speaking to the Map Men. They’re YouTube stars –and a great example of social media influencers becoming more mainstream and appealing to broadcasters too.


Nick Giles from OS


Nick Giles from OS and map man


Onfido is a B2B identity verification company whose clients include HSBC and Deliveroo and perhaps the most difficult challenge of all has been convincing broadcasters to cover technology stories when the technology is not yet mainstream – often built by developers for developers. That said broadcasters are interested in how their technology can prevent ID fraud, password misuse and deep fakes all of which Onfido can comment on.

A further challenge is spokesperson availability particularly now the company has been bought out by US tech giant Entrust. The chances are, if there’s a big breaking identification fraud news story, they will already be involved in it as part of their day job. Headquartered in San Francisco and London also brings it challenges with broadcasters wanting spokespeople willing and available in both time zones.


Shout! Communications secured BBC Breakfast, and 27 further pieces of coverage including 17 BBC radio stations and Sky Radio. The total reach exceeded more than 10.8 million people.

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