The quest for attention-grabbing stories

PR Network
6 November 2019
09.30 - 11.30
Free and exclusive to CharityComms members and corporate partners

To ensure as many organisations as possible can attend, there is a maximum of:
- two places available per organisational member
- one place per corporate partner

This venue is wheelchair accessible.

British Heart Foundation
Greater London House
180 Hampstead Road

This event is now fully booked. Please contact Lauren to be added to the waiting list. 

We’re PR pirates, sifting through trunks full of case studies in search of a golden nugget to grab the media’s attention. But there’s a lot out there and it can be buried away with other crews.

So, it’s important every crew comes together in sourcing these stories and agree a joint plan of action for when we find them. And unlike pirates, it’s essential that we take good care of the nugget holders (AKA the people we exist to support).

We’ll be exploring what makes a story newsworthy, how we can work with our colleagues to source these stories, how to sell them into journalists, and what best practice looks like when it comes to safeguarding the people whose stories we’re telling.

9:30 - 9:45
Registration and Refreshments
9:45 - 9:50

Vanessa Weddell, head of events, CharityComms

9:50 - 10:10
Making the Invisible Visible

Sophie Bassil, press officer (research and health), Crohn’s & Colitis UK

This year, Crohn’s & Colitis UK launched the third phase of their Not Every Disability is Visible campaign. This was run in partnership with Janssen-Cilag Limited and urged high street restaurants and pubs to change their accessible toilet signage. Sophie will tell us more about the campaign which included powerful case study photographs, an engaging website and campaigning assets. Not Every Disability is Visible resulted in an impressive 47,000 emails to CEOs, 137 pieces of print, online and broadcast coverage and 3,633 total mentions on social in the two months following launch.

10:10 - 10:30
How to make news

Tracy Manners, head of the global media unit, Save the Children

The Global Media Unit is the media hub for Save the Children International. They provide news content for colleagues to use in over 100 countries worldwide, and pitch directly to all major international media outlets. Last year, the work produced by the GMU generated over 200,000 earned media hits globally.  The team of six relies on strong internal and external networks to deliver this.

This session will look at three different news stories, each presenting their own unique challenges and opportunities: 

  • Riding the wave – Syria
  • Relatable storytelling – Nigeria
  • Connecting news audiences with campaigns – Stop the War on Children launch


10:30 - 10:50
The Heart of Steel

Shaima Al Obaidi, senior media officer – fundraising & Maddie Waktare, media officer – fundraising, British Heart Foundation 

The Heart of Steel is a monumental sculpture in Yorkshire with space to engrave 150,000 names. Since 2018, it has raised over £540,000 for the BHF and has become an ongoing campaign which offers an unique PR opportunity. From mothers who have lost children to heart disease, to the first ever UK baby heart transplant patient, the Heart of Steel has provided a unique avenue to capture emotive human interest stories that appeal to regional, national and consumer press.

Shaima and Maddie will tell us about how they managed the Heart of Steel PR project, empowered case studies to tell their stories, and will share their creative ideas for securing media coverage.


10:50 - 11:25
Safeguarding case studies

A panel discussion and questions with:

  • Natasha Dos Santos, senior global media manager, Save the Children
  • Catherine Murray, head of communications, Target Ovarian Cancer

If you’d like to be one of the first to hear about these events, please email Lauren to be added to the mailing list.

About the PR Network

CharityComms’ PR Network is a group for professionals working in PR and media in UK charities and not-for-profits.

The PR Network gives you the chance to meet your peers, compare notes on workplace practices and share successes, ideas, challenges and inspiration. The network is designed to encourage networking and peer to peer support, sharing issues in a ‘safe’ environment.

The group meets three times a year to focus on a common challenge. The format of the meetings is one or two presentations on a specific topic, followed by small group discussions, providing a combination of best practice and peer-to-peer sharing.