The Rotherham Report - crisis communications

The Rotherham Report

Case Study

“I am very grateful for the high quality press support which Cream provided to me on the publishing of my independent inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, especially in the face of the scale of response which none of us anticipated.

Good luck to the company for the future.”
Professor Alexis Jay, OBE

The Brief

In August 2014 Cream was commissioned to provide independent PR and media support for Professor Alexis Jay OBE, author of an Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham 1997 – 2013.

The brief was simple: to ensure that the findings of the inquiry were reported correctly, in full and to as wide an audience as possible.

Approach

Working strategically and under strict confidentiality agreements, we organised a national media conference with Prof Jay to launch the 153 page report. Cream took a strategic approach to ensure the report’s contents remained under embargo until the media conference began. Cream’s crisis management specialists worked closely with Prof Jay in the weeks before the publication to anticipate and plan media responses. Cream’s entire team was commended by Prof Jay’s for its high level of professionalism and its determination to achieve worldwide coverage.

Results

All major UK news channels sent a crew, as did regional news programmes. The hour-long press conference was broadcast live on Sky News and the story was trending worldwide on Twitter before the press conference was over. It was the lead story on both BBC and ITV’s evening and 10 o’clock news and on C4 News, Sky News and Newsnight. We acted as advisers on interview bids from both UK and international media which continued to come in throughout the night and for a further two and a half weeks. Almost 10,000 news articles were published on the subject reaching 900 million people worldwide.

  • Worldwide coverage – New York Times, The Australian, Japan Times, CNN, Al Jazeera, plus many more
  • Front page of every UK daily national newspaper the morning after the press conference
  • Extensive national broadcast coverage including Newsnight, C4 News, The Today Programme, Panorama, The Jeremy Vine Show and Sky News
  • Coverage on numerous online news and political blogs