CAMPAIGNS: Event PR - Day revives memories of Holocaust

Client: The Holocaust Educational Trust

PR Team: In-house, the UK government and various organisations and


Campaign: Holocaust Memorial Day

Timescale: June 1999 - January 2001

Budget: Undisclosed

Returning from a trip to Auschwitz attended by Andrew Dismore MP in June

1999, Holocaust Educational Trust deputy director Karen Pollock raised

the possibility of organising an official day on which to commemorate

the Holocaust.

Dismore, the Labour MP for Hendon (London), promised that he propose to

create one. Prime Minister Tony Blair accepted the proposal and referred

it to Home Secretary Jack Straw, who conducted a consultation exercise

through organisations, individuals and local authorities.


To provide a national mark of respect for all victims of Nazi

persecution. To raise awareness and understanding of the Holocaust as a

continuing issue for humanity. To reflect on more recent atrocities that

raise similar issues.

Strategy and Plan

The response to the consultation exercise, including 150 local

authorities, was very positive and the majority of respondents expressed

their support of the proposal to implement an annual memorial day.

On 26 January 2000 the Annual Holocaust Memorial Day was established,

and was pencilled in for January of the following year.

A steering group was formed that comprised three working groups - for

education, national ceremony and local activities. The Trust had

representatives in all groups.

In June 2000 the Trust was awarded a one-off grant from the Home Office

in recognition of its contribution to Holocaust Memorial Day. The money

was used to employ a Holocaust Memorial Day office.

In the autumn a Holocaust Memorial Day website

( was set up, which included the

statement of commitment, which was developed for recommended use at

ceremonial occasions across the country.

In November an education pack was sent out to every school in


Leaflets and posters, developed in co-operation with the National Union

of Students, were issued to universities, outlining how they could best

commemorate the day.

The trust also held joint fringe meetings with the Commission for Racial

Equality at all three party conferences. Trade unions were encouraged to

promote the day. The trust also organised an exhibition in the House of

Commons on 23 January this year.

Measurement and Evaluation

Holocaust Memorial Day garnered massive coverage from both the national

and regional media. BBC2 broadcast live coverage of the day's event and

pulled in an audience of between 1.5 million and two million


The Holocaust Educational Trust and other organisations worked

successfully with the Home Office in orchestrating the multifaceted



The development of Holocaust Memorial Day combined many aspects of PR -

from public affairs to media relations - and successfully communicated

the horrors of and the lessons that can be learned from the Holocaust.

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