Three lessons for managing a major media moment
8 June 2023 · 2 min read
Each year on 27 January, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the world comes together to mark Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD). This year, Atalanta was privileged to work with the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT), the charity established and funded by the UK Government to promote and support HMD in the UK.
Our work involved managing a campaign of media moments for HMDT both leading up to, and on the day itself. This included a moment of silence in Parliament attended by both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, a media moment where Dame Joanna Lumley handed out candles in Central London alongside survivors of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, and buildings across the UK lighting up purple as part of the Trust’s annual Light the Darkness initiative.
Atalanta Senior Account Manager, MacKenzie Horn, shares three lessons for securing top-tier broadcast coverage as part of a major media moment.
Brief journalists as far in advance as possible
Because HMD is an annual event, many outlets already had it in their planning calendars. However, it was still essential to brief journalists well in advance to secure top-tier coverage. We reached out to Good Morning Britain over a month in advance, which allowed us to build a strong relationship with their planning editor (the person responsible for scheduling interviews) and led to us securing a primetime interview with two of the survivors that HMDT works with the week before HMD.
Brief spokespeople thoroughly
Media training is an essential component of ensuring that a media moment goes smoothly. With this in mind, around six weeks before HMD, Atalanta held a briefing session with key HMDT spokespeople. During the session, we walked them through core talking points, and even subjected them to mock interviews. This helped to ensure alignment on key messaging and helped them feel prepared for the wide variety of media appearances that we scheduled on HMD – beginning with an interview on Times Radio just after 5 am and continuing throughout the day.
Plan for every eventuality – and keep calm!
No matter how well a media moment is planned, a certain amount of chaos is inevitable. Technical difficulties, delays, and general mishaps are all a part of live broadcasting – so it is essential to keep a calm head and get things back on track. Because so many outlets were interested in interviewing Dame Joanna and the survivors as they were handing out candles, we had to schedule appearances very tightly, and a couple of the outlets ran over their allotted slots. However, because we had established strong relationships with the planning editors who scheduled the interviews, we were able to be flexible and find solutions that worked for everyone.
It’s also important to think of the smaller details that can make all the difference in ensuring that the day is an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. For example, as it was a cold morning on HMD, we ensured that hot coffee was always on hand between media appearances.
If you’re interested in learning more about media outreach or managing broadcast opportunities, please reach out to the Atalanta team via our webform here.