Campaigning

We have significant experience in running proactive campaigns across a variety of sectors and stakeholder groups. We are channel agnostic, believing that campaigns must focus on how to gain traction and influence; as such, our work ranges from discreet briefing programmes to highly-active social media campaigns. We measure and track the effectiveness of our work, allowing for resources to be deployed in the most fruitful manner.

Case studies

Giving a strong voice to an industry sector under attack

THE PROBLEM

The client was a loose grouping of businesspeople which needed to defend the sector's reputation from attack by politicians, the media and regulators. For years they had done nothing to defend themselves, leading to a situation of increased market uncertainty which threatened the future of their mainly small, often family-run, businesses.

THE SOLUTION

Firstly, DRD advised them to get organised and create a formal trade association as a vehicle to defend the industry’s reputation. We kick-started by creating a new organisation for them, registering them as a legal entity at Companies House, and worked with a respected legal team to define a code of conduct for members of the association to sign up to and abide by. Secondly, DRD drafted the trade body’s submission to a Parliamentary Select Committee Inquiry which was investigating the industry. Finally, using a combination of public affairs, media and social media campaign tools, DRD helped the client gain a voice in the industry to let policymakers and the general public understand the issues that the sector faces.

THE RESULT

MPs, government officials, journalists, advisers, think tanks, academics and other stakeholders became open to hearing and, in some cases, even supportive of the association’s goals to foster a clearer, more responsible market for the benefit of all participants, including consumers. The association is now an established part of the industry, perceived to be campaigning for greater legal and regulatory clarity about existing UK laws and regulations and seen as a responsible voice by policymakers.

Overseas government required campaign communications support during a major international bid

THE PROBLEM

The bidding government sought to competitively present its case to voting countries, the event regulatory body and the general public. The client was a lesser-known country who had faced reputational challenges in the international media, while its competitors were from large, well-established countries.

THE SOLUTION

DRD developed a campaign communications strategy for the bid, seeking to balance positive engagement with key influencers and a cautious media strategy. DRD advised on talking points for embassies and delegates, developed youth engagement plans and presented on communications strategy during an enquiry mission visit by the regulatory body. DRD wrote speeches and articles for ministers, ambassadors and business representatives; it also produced monthly newsletters, brochures, press releases, opinion editorials, website stories and regular social media activity.

THE RESULT

The bid received an extremely positive report following the enquiry mission by the regulatory body, and this was reflected in bilateral embassy conversations. The country was able to present a competitive bid, share positive success stories and build new networks with key influencers. The campaign received considerable support at home and with strategic international partners.

Campaigning to secure UK Government commissioning of a life-saving drug for a rare disease

THE PROBLEM

Our client was facing difficulty with the UK commissioning of a single, life-saving product that has a high level of efficacy for a tiny cohort of patients with a rare disease who were viewed as low priority. Having received approval for the drug from the former regulatory committee, the new government made a unilateral decision not to approve the drug. We needed to get as many patients on the drug while it went through the approval process.

THE SOLUTION

We created a strategy for three manageable timeframes - seven-day, two-month, and five-month - with specific goals for each phase. For the media relations campaign, we divided the media into high-value national dailies which could drive public sympathy by publishing case studies. We also used social media to gather interest, and petitioning was employed in conjunction with media relations.

THE RESULT

A petition to government with hundreds of thousands of signatures was delivered to Number 10 and the Department of Health as a result of our media work and campaigning. Patient groups, aligned with clinicians and media, frequently told the heart-breaking stories and focused on the novel technology of the treatment. In the Houses of Parliament and across the devolved governments, elected politicians, civil servants and Peers were informed as to the importance of the approval of this treatment and its potential to impact rare diseases and enable the NHS to meet its promises to all patients. At the close of the programme, 98% of patients in the UK were put on the drug as an interim measure, and subsequently the EMA and the NICE approved the treatment for use for this rare disease.