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ICBP

Client Objective

Initially the objective was to raise awareness of the issue of frozen pensions overseas through sustained press coverage. The longer term aim was to ensure the campaign was kept firmly on the political radar. Ultimately we aimed to generate enough pressure through media, public support and political lobbying to see the government unfreeze all frozen pensions.

Originality and Creativity

Using our creative skills, we assessed and described, as emotively as possible, the real impacts of having a frozen pension. This included highlighting people living on as little as £6 per week.

We also worked to secure credible backing for the cause, encouraging political supporters, such as Baroness Floella Benjamin, to join the campaign.

Strategy and implementation

During the first phase of the campaign we engaged a number of PR and political tactics to ensure the issue was kept at the forefront of the public and political agenda.

We utilised human interest case studies told by those living with frozen pensions which proved particularly powerful in explaining the practical implications of the policy. Letters and comment articles from leading figures at ICBP were used to keep a summary of the latest developments on the issue in the national press.

PHA provided an in-depth analysis of the existing parliamentary support and helped ICPB refine its messages for the politicians of each part. We aided letter writing campaigns by ICPB supporters and fostered a process of direct engagement with a wide range of parliamentarians and Ministers.

Results and evaluation

More than 100 pieces of positive coverage across the national print and broadcast media, as well as key online channels. Coverage of note includes regular articles in the Financial Times, Independent, Mail on Sunday, Times, Daily Telegraph and Daily Express, as well as leading BME titles The Voice and Eastern Eye.

We have secured issue champions in each political party and the foundation of an All Party Parliamentary Group to promote the frozen pensioners’ cause in Westminster. The campaign has increased declared support and membership throughout the current parliament via EDM’s and direct correspondence. Strategic meetings have been secured with Ministers, policy makers and parliamentarians.

We have worked with PHA Media for a number of years to raise awareness of the injustice of the government’s frozen pension policy and our campaign for pension parity both in the press and in Parliament. I’ve been impressed with how the team continues to keep this single issue campaign alive, finding new ways to keep the campaign in the media and subsequently the public’s conscience.

Most recently, during our last visit to London, PHA arranged 25 meetings with MPs as well as a number of briefings with key journalists. The result was improved political support, a pledge from the government to revisit the issue in the New Year and significant coverage in leading titles including the Sunday Times.

John Markham, director of the International Consortium of British Pensioners

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