North East public health bodies begin comms review

The groups carrying the battle to drive down smoking and drinking in the North East are reviewing their comms set-up.

PR review: Agency will help drive down smoking and drinking in the North East
PR review: Agency will help drive down smoking and drinking in the North East

Fresh Smoke Free North East and Balance North East's alcohol office, have tendered out PR work currently with agency Gardiner Richardson.

Their review comes as the recent figures reveal the region is the worst in England for alcohol-related hospital admissions.

The publicly funded bodies have put out a joint tender and are looking for an agency each, with the work running from December for up to three years.

A document seen by PRWeek states that ‘a key element’ of the work to reduce smoking and alcohol consumption involves ‘the engagement of national, regional and local media’.

It adds that work with partners both in the North East and beyond is also likely to be required.

Regional newspaper The Northern Echo revealed last month that more than 84,000 people were admitted to hospitals in the region due to drink, an increase on the previous year of 4,100.

Meanwhile, figures put out by Fresh Smoke Free North East last year revealed smoking was costing the region £210m a year.

Recent work by Fresh has included Take 7 Steps Out, which focused on protecting about 80,000 children in the region who are exposed to second-hand smoke.

Balance’s campaigning has included supporting the Department of Health’s Change4Life campaign.

A spokesman for Fresh confirmed the pitch was taking place, adding that a transparent process would ensure it ‘is able to work with the best agency for the job’. 

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