Supporting the UK’s largest coalition of disability campaigners with targeted media coverage
The Disability Employment Charter was borne from the UK’s leading disability charities, trade unions and academics. The largest coalition of organisations coming together in this space with one shared vision, the Charter outlined practical measures the government should take to tackle the disability employment gap in the UK. Disabled people not only face gaps in opportunities and pay, but also job satisfaction work-related wellbeing.
Created following the publication of the government’s National Disability Strategy – which disability voices universally agreed was woefully lacking – the Charter outlines practical measures from removing the Access to Work cap to requiring large employers to publish annual data on the number of disabled people they employ as a proportion of their workforce, and their pay gaps. With the Charter ready for launch, the coalition were looking to ensure it received media attention to push it up politicians’ and businesses’ agendas.
Whitehouse and the coalition worked together to create a media announcement to launch the Charter to the press. A fine balance had to be struck between crafting a strong news hook without being overly critical of the government, as many members of the coalition received public funding for their work.
Whitehouse created a press release focusing instead on the strength of the coalition – never before have so many disability organisations joined forces for one project and political ask – and highlighting the gaps in support currently available, in order to educate the wider public on these issues which they are most likely unaware of.
Following the press release, Whitehouse then worked to create thought leadership pieces which referenced the Charter, working with the biggest voices leading the conversation on disability.
Despite the need to remain relatively neutral in messaging, Whitehouse achieved both trade (such as Disability News Service) and national coverage (including The Sun) of the launch of the Charter. Most notably, the article on the Charter secured in the Independent was referenced in Parliament, showing the power of PR for political influence.
Photo by Ivan Samkov.
“Many thanks to Whitehouse all your work over the last few weeks. I have it on good authority that one of the main reasons the Charter is on the Minister’s radar is the piece in the Independent. This alone demonstrates the importance to us of the work you’ve done. The Minister mentioned the Charter in a speech she gave in the commons. It’s clearly resonated with her.”