It’s that time when we review 2022, and look forward to the New Year ahead…
2022 continued our award-winning streak. Building on being crowned the 2021 Best PR Agency of the Year at the Prolific North Awards, we won Best Independent Business at the 2022 Harrogate Advertiser Excellence in Business Awards.
2022 was a year rich in our trademark mix supporting clients working in the arts, charity and nature!
In January, we supported the Forest of Bowland AONB promote its Dark Skies Festival. It was part of our overall promotion of its Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership, which ended this October with a celebration of the four and a half year project.
Later in the year, we launched How Stean Gorge’s ambitious expansion. The visitor attraction and adventure facility – home to one of Yorkshire’s most ancient natural wonders – expanded with new cabins, complete with hot tubs, as well as the acquisition of new caves. We positioned it as a well-being hot-spot.
On the back of that, we organised a press trip for the Guardian to How Stean Gorge, which resulted in a brilliant review and travel feature.
It Has to be Harrogate!
Other press trips Cause UK pitched and helped organise, included the Sunday Times as part of Visit Harrogate’s Health and Wellbeing campaign. We organised for the journalist Laura Hackett to stay at some of the best hotels, including Swinton Estates, and indulge in the Turkish Baths and tea at Bettys. We also placed Harrogate in Time Out magazine and lined up trips with Hello! magazine, amongst others.
At the end of the year, we continued the destination PR supporting the Country Living Christmas Fair, which attracted 15,000 visitors to Harrogate this December.
Rob Burrow Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Appeal for the Leeds Hospital Charity
Ian Flatt and his wife Rachael. Photo by Lorne Campbell
2022 was the start of a year-long campaign with Leeds Teaching Hospitals to help raise funds for a new Rob Burrow Centre for MND.
Projects included launching Rob Burrow’s sisters’ charity fundraising ball achieving regional and national media coverage. The event raised an incredible £40,000.
We also positioned in the media the incredible feats of MND patient Ian Flatt, who scaled Snowdon in his wheelchair in aid of the charity, which was covered by the BBC in Wales and Yorkshire.
The year culminated with a photo-exhibition launched at Leeds train station in November. The ‘7 Stories of MND’ exhibition was inspired by Rob’s Rugby League shirt number, 7. Ann pulled together the stories, interviewing patients and relatives, and Clair led on organising broadcast TV and radio coverage, and worked with the very talented photographer Lorne Campbell, who took the photographs for the exhibition. The MND stories ran across the BBC, including BBC Breakfast, BBC Online, ITV News, with a magazine spread in the Yorkshire Post, and a media partnership with the Yorkshire Evening Post.
Other campaigns include National Organ Donation Week. Clair worked with the Leeds Hospital Charity to raise awareness of the need for living donors and to identify barriers to donation from black, minority and ethnic backgrounds. We achieved TV, radio, print and online media coverage for the campaign. We also worked on Skin Cancer Awareness Month and placed fundraiser Jacqui Drake on the Channel 4 Steph McGovern Show, Packed Lunch, as well as organised radio interviews and print and digital coverage; Jacqui is terminally ill with skin cancer but is determined to raise money and awareness for the cause.
Festivals and the Arts
2022 saw the return of our festival clients, CrimeFest in Bristol and the Ilkley Literature Festival, as well as a new client, the Northern Aldborough Festival – a charity with a mission to bring world-class music to rural locations. We achieved strong media profile for all.
Ann interviewed Ilkley festival authors for the Telegraph and Argus, Ilkley Gazette and Yorkshire Post, and set up interviews such as Ruth Jones in the Daily Express, as well as a number of authors for BBC radio Leeds. One of the longest (and oldest) literary festivals, running across two weeks, we achieved just over 200 media stories.
CrimeFest also featured in the Daily Express with an interview with Jack Reacher author Andrew Child, who also featured in the Sunday Mail. We achieved over 100 media stories for the convention. Highlights included an interview in the Guardian with Andrew’s brother, Lee Child, and an interview with Ann Cleeves in Bristol Magazine.
A photo-story on the Northern Aldborough Festival’s new stage production of Handel’s Theodora ran in the Sunday Telegraph. We got the festival in BBC Music magazine, the Yorkshire Post, in British Airway’s in-flight magazine, High Life, and secured fabulous magazine spreads in Yorkshire Living, as well as positioning artists Julian Bliss and James Baillieu on Sean Rafferty’s Radio 3’s In Tune.
In June, we supported the Crime Writers’ Association’s National Crime Reading Month, supported by authors including Ian Rankin, Anthony Horowitz, Vaseem Khan and Elly Griffiths, with a feature in the Telegraph.
We also launched North Yorkshire Open Studios 2022 – supporting over 100 artists across the region, with stories across regional press.
This Christmas, it was a joy too to help promote conductor and composer, Ben Crick, with his new work, a Yorkshire Nativity. Our photo-story ran in The Times, the Yorkshire Post and BBC Look North filmed rehearsals live.
We had a series of new clients too, including the ethical research agency, Harlow Consulting in Harrogate. We positioned the female-led business owners as “making waves” with an interview with co-directors, Clare Vokes and Jennifer Brennan, in the Yorkshire Post.
This year we began work with South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) based in Exeter, to tell the story of a new secure online reporting platform their team is developing – Minerva. The new app will be launched in March 2023 and will help tackle online abuse. Minerva is in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and funded by the Tampon Tax. We have achieved 50 media stories to date, including an interview feature with National World and profile on Yahoo.com. Read more here.
Cause UK went international too in 2022. We promoted the French app Famileo, launching the brand in the UK. We placed the brand in Prima magazine’s Christmas gift guide, as well as in The Metro, The Sun, Sunday Mirror and on GB News with anchor Alistair Stewart interviewing Nadine Calcutt, their UK Head of Marketing, live on air. To date, we’ve achieved 150 news stories, including a bespoke feature in the Yorkshire Post and a feature story that syndicated across the National World media titles, spanning the length and breadth of the country from Scotland to Southampton.
We also started work with a major new client – CARE Foundation, which runs over 800 schools in Pakistan. Our brief is to interview its alumni and school children, update the website, write e-news campaigns and raise its profile in international media. CARE aims to educate 1 million underprivileged children by 2025, and we will be supporting them in 2023.
Interviewing and capturing people’s stories is something Cause UK director Ann loves, and she was thrilled to write the case studies for the Key Fund’s annual Social Impact report once more. Key Fund – the north’s leading Social Investor – was one of our first ever clients. They’ve supported over 2,500 social and community enterprises to date, all working to tackle deep rooted challenges from homelessness to mental ill-health. Each year writing their report is a life-affirming, and inspiring, project. You can read the report, here.
The show will go on!
Clair led on a passion project of hers – putting on a play! We’re used to hosting events after a series of successful talks in recent years with the likes of Ken Loach, Chris Packham, Miriam Margolyes and Steve Backshall. But this was perhaps our biggest challenge to date!
The Man Who Captured Sunlight told the story of Samson Fox – the former mayor of Harrogate, pioneer of the industrial revolution, and forebear of the Fox acting dynasty.
Actors Freddie Fox and his mum Joanna David came to the premiere at the Royal Hall in Harrogate. The play, written by Gavin Collinson and performed by a cast of professional actors from North of Watford agency, received critical acclaim and captured the media interest. We organised an interview with Edward and Freddie Fox in the Telegraph on the play, which ran on the front cover of its Saturday Review. Ann also interviewed Freddie for a number of publications to promote the play, including the Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Living and Northern Soul.
Other highlights of 2022 include a story about the UK craze for Padel Tennis, providing media support to launch a digital health innovator in Leeds called Caterpillar with former Olympian Alistair Brownlee, promoting the botanical artist Sophie Roberts from the Himalayan Gardens and Sculpture Park, and continuing our work with Nidderdale AONB – the most recent release on refugees fleeing volatile countries and volunteering on a farm in Nidderdale.
Our year ends supporting National Energy Action (NEA), a charity that raises awareness about fuel poverty; we placed songwriter Eliot Kennedy, whose Christmas single ‘This Christmas’ is raising awareness and funds for those suffering fuel poverty, on Sky News.
As ever, it’s been one heck of a year. We’re ready for a festive recharge!
And so to 2023…we look forward to working with old clients and new, and wish all a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!