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Campaigning for Care in the Kafkaesque Coronavirus

Before the outbreak of COVID-19, the UK’s social care sector had, despite employing and caring for more people than the NHS, scant public or political profile.
When Social Care charity Community Integrated Care approached the Spider Corporate PR team following the outbreak of COVID-19, the brief was to generate any recognition for the sector which was largely ignored by the media and almost entirely omitted from the government’s official COVID-19 plans.

By working to uncover the real stories and plight of social care workers, including (for the first time) announcing cross-industry data on death rates, Spider generated over 240 pieces of coverage for the charity including blanket national and broadcast coverage placing the sector as a whole firmly on the public and media agenda.

Our work which has involved tracking the fast changing daily news agenda helped build the media profile of the passionate and outspoken Mark Adams CEO to that of go-to media commentator for all of the major broadcast outlets and his derision of the Prime Minister’s blaming of care homes for high death rates as ‘cowardly and Kafkaesque’ was not only quoted across the national media but used by Sir Kier Starmer at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Hard-hitting, reactive lobbying was complimented by an ongoing stream of uplifting real-life stories to show positive human experiences of the care sector during lock-down. From stories of England Rugby players shaving their heads for fundraising to staff doing a 1,500-mile charity walk to securing broadcast coverage to celebrate and mark National Care worker Day.

Not only did our comms aid in the sourcing of PPE, help change priority access rules in supermarkets, but also spurred additional emergency investment funding for the sector and put the social care sector at the forefront of the media and national consciousness. Proof if ever, that the mainstream broadcast media influences those in power.