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
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
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
(www.holocaustmemorialday.gov.uk) 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.