PHA worked in partnership with the in house press team on the PR campaign to raise awareness and support the second reading of Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill.
PHA were enlisted by Dignity in Dying to support the media campaign in the lead up to the second reading of Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill in the House of Lords in July 2014.
Dignity in Dying is a UK organisation which campaigns for assisted dying to be legalised in the UK. The proposed legislation would allow terminally ill adults in the UK, with less than six months to live, the right to decide when they want to die, and would involve them administering their own ‘life ending’ medication.
PHA were enlisted by Dignity in Dying to support the media campaign in the lead up to the second reading of Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill in the House of Lords.
Originality and Creativity
Our role was to ensure that information on the Assisted Dying Bill was spread far and wide throughout the media, ensuring that the campaign gained as much momentum and awareness as possible in the lead up to the bill reading. It was important that our PR activity took into consideration the obvious sensitivities surrounding the subject matter and educated and informed.
Strategy and Implementation
As we were working to such a stringent deadline, it was important that we implemented a strategic campaign to build momentum at a steady rate from the start of the campaign in February 2014, right up until the bill reading on July 18th 2014.
Our activity included working with case studies to place their stories and experiences across the media, demonstrating how and why the bill would help those suffering with terminal illnesses. To complement this activity, we worked with several of the organisation’s high profile patrons including Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Christopher Woodhead and Prue Leith who shared their own personal reasons for wanting a change in the law. This activity was targeted at specific national newspapers. We also worked with the in house press team to plan and execute a media strategy on the day of the bill reading – coordinating a high profile photo call and schedule of broadcast interviews for Lord Falconer and a selection of patrons and supporters.
In the days following the bill reading we continued to source press opportunities to help spread the message that the Assisted Dying Bill had successfully passed its second reading, moving to committee stage.
Results and Evaluation
Throughout the campaign we generated significant and influential coverage across a range of key media including: The Mail on Sunday, This Morning, Notebook, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Andrew Marr Show, The Daily Mail, The Observer, Good Morning Britain, BBC Radio 2 and Sky News to name but a few.
Our campaign ensured that the topic of assisted dying was high on the news agenda in the days and weeks leading up to the bill reading and successfully raised awareness of the issue amongst previously untapped audiences. In addition to engaging with a wider consumer audience, our campaign also raised awareness amongst influential political peers, and ultimately contributed to the bill successfully passing its second reading.
BBC Radio 2
Mail on Sunday
Dignity in Dying
Andrew Marr show
Good Morning Britain