CAMPAIGNS: Healthcare PR - DoH takes in Janice Muir for flu jab job

Client: Department of Health

Client: Department of Health

PR Team: Janice Muir Partnership and the DoH in-house

Campaign: Flu Immunisation Campaign 2000

Timescale: September 2000 - January 2001

Budget: Undisclosed

In the wake of a winter epidemic, the Department of Health launched its first-ever flu immunisation campaign.


The Janice Muir Partnership was contracted to provide PR support for a national cross-media ad campaign 'Get your Jab In First', fronted by former boxer Sir Henry Cooper.

The agency was to publicise the fact that flu jabs were free to all those aged 65 and upwards, and to other high-risk groups.

Strategy and Plan

JMP advised relevant charities, such as Age Concern and Help the Aged to adopt and back its brief.

DoH regional communications officers were regularly contacted and supported with practical help.

Posters were distributed to the leading TV soaps to get them on screen between mid-October and mid-December.

JMP prepared a local media-focused press pack, distributed by PR Newswire to local and regional press and radio during the September launch week, as well as nursing, medical and carer trade titles, grey and women's consumer titles.

Although no Flu Awareness Day had been planned, JMP created one for October 23.

A 'Livelinks' broadcast, featuring Cooper, Lionel Blair (for Help the Aged) and medical experts and charity spokespeople, reached national and local audiences.

Measurement and Evaluation

Between 21 September 2000 and 1 January 2001, more than 700 cuttings were generated nationally. Of the cuttings monitored, 564 were positive, 139 were negative.


The campaign was successful, despite one manufacturer holding up delivery of vaccines, which led to negative press coverage.

The DoH's aim of treating 60 per cent of the target audience was exceeded by some health authorities in England; in some areas upwards of 70 per cent was reached.

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