Client: Recover Services
PR Team: RJH Public Relations
Campaign: Launch of Recover and its new personal injury insurance services
Timescale: November to December 2000
The personal injury claims market can conjure up images of 'ambulance chasers', a perception that may have increased since the Government abolished legal aid for 99 per cent of personal injury cases in early 2000.
This change meant that the public would have to turn to the private sector in order to seek financial redress. And while all claims companies have a strong legal presence that takes claims through the courts, many of them come across as organisations made up of salespeople and call centres.
Recover, a personal injury insurance and compensation services group which launched last November, wanted to distance itself from this image.
It hired RJH Public Relations to publicise its calls for a more regulated industry in which cowboys were not welcome.
To launch the Recover personal injury insurance and compensation services package, and highlight the company's calls for government regulation of the personal injury claims industry.
To highlight Recover's strong legal backbone, consisting of a team of highly qualified personal injury lawyers.
To create awareness of the Recover insurance package that offers compensation for accident victims, as well as a series of support services, including immediate medical help and counselling.
The PR also supported the TV advertising campaign, which featured TV presenter and Recover director Anne Diamond.
Strategy and Plan
With many of its competitors advertising extensively on TV, Recover planned a publicity campaign that emphasised the cornerstone legal ethic - that every lawyer must act in the best interests of the client.
A MORI survey was commissioned that looked into the public's views on personal injury compensation, using a 2,000-person national sample.
Questions focused on the issues of taking one's employer to court, taking a hospital/doctor to court, and how people felt about seeking redress in general. Results indicated that almost 80 per cent of the public would not feel bad about pursuing a compensation claim - something that had always been seen as being 'American', and very 'un-British'.
The survey's results were released to the media 24 hours before the 15 November launch, together with information on Recover's calls for government regulation of the market, and heavy penalties being imposed on compensation companies that were guilty of malpractice.
RJH also worked on rebranding Anne Diamond, who has suffered bad press in recent years (for example, surrounding her acrimonious marital split and disappointing sales of a fitness video). The rebranding gave her a more positive and credible appeal to the women's interest market.
Measurement and Evaluation
Although the campaign and its evaluation is ongoing, the launch was deemed to be a success, not just in terms of cases taken on - which Recover has not disclosed - but also in terms of coverage obtained.
Magazines and newspapers (The Sunday Times, Sunday Express, Daily Express, The Mirror, and 12 regional newspapers) picked up on the campaign within three days of the launch. Features appeared in Woman's Own and Vive!
Broadcast coverage included interviews with Recover chief executive John Gorner on Radio 4, Radio 2, Sky News and Bloomberg.
Two weeks after the launch, Recover had received in excess of 1,500 phone enquiries, of which 65 per cent were estimated to be as a result of editorial and broadcast coverage.
Since the TV advertising aired, rival personal injury company Claims Direct has launched a major TV campaign in response to Recover's.