Campaign case study: Concateno puts drug tests under scrutiny

Drug and alcohol testing company Concateno had a low public profile. It hired Chameleon PR to position it as the first choice provider of appropriate, accredited, accurate, timely and reliable drug and alcohol testing.

Concateno: Positioning itself as a market leader
Concateno: Positioning itself as a market leader

Campaign: Concateno High Society
Client: Concateno
PR team: Chameleon PR
Timescale: May-August 2012
Budget: £20,000



  •  To position the company as the market leader in its field
  •  To raise awareness of the impact of drug and alcohol misuse on society
  •  To generate new business leads.

Strategy and plan

Chameleon devised a campaign to present Concateno as an industry commentator and expert on key industry topics.

Concateno had built up a significant amount of data from conducting 1.6 million workplace tests over a five-year period. Chameleon used this data to create an in-depth research report called High Society with a strong news angle that would highlight drug usage trends and spark debate.

Key findings included the fact one in 30 British employees tested positive for drugs including cannabis, opiates and cocaine at any point in time - equating to nearly a million people. There had also been a 43 per cent increase in drug positivity rates over the past five years.

The report was supplemented by a news alert, key facts for journalists and digital content in order to direct traffic to Concateno's website for data capture and sales lead conversion.

Chameleon gave media training to Dr Claire George, Concateno's laboratory director, who was selected as the main spokesperson. The PR team secured a range of national media pre-briefings on the Friday and Sunday before the Monday launch, including BBC Breakfast and Today.

Chameleon had briefed Press Association, so the journalists contacted on Sunday and offered interviews were already aware of the story via the PA news feed.

At 8pm the night before the launch, the chairman of Barclays announced he was going to resign the following morning. With the Libor scandal set to dominate the morning news agenda, many pre-arranged interviews were cancelled.

Chameleon moved fast to secure other opportunities for broadcast that evening by convincing journalists and programme planners that the news should cover an alternative to the Libor story.

Measurement and evaluation

On Monday morning, George conducted 15 radio interviews, including Radio 5 Wake Up to Money, Radio 5 Breakfast and most of the BBC's regional radio stations including BBC London. The story was on the front page of the Metro and nearly every UK national newspaper covered the story, including the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Daily Star and Daily Mail.

The story also featured on ITV's Daybreak and the BBC World News website. It was picked up globally, reaching Asia, Australasia, Africa and the US. To date, the story has had more than 200 pieces of coverage, including seven nationals, 25 broadcast pieces and 22 regionals.


Concateno secured more than 100 new business leads as a result of the campaign.



This campaign delivered a lot of bang for the buck. The team made excellent use of existing in-house data to create a report and news hooks. This saved money on research and positioned Concateno as a voice of authority on drugs testing.

The report has been well integrated on Concateno's website, with prominent positioning on the front page and a simple request for your details when downloading the information. This is a clever device for following up new business leads, but should not dissuade interested parties.

The launch is a textbook example of how other news stories can disrupt best laid plans. The team responded well to these challenges, continuing to secure a considerable amount of coverage. It perhaps could have extended this further by allying key areas for business growth with further research.

While the report breaks down the results into age and gender, if it could have stretched this into distinct occupations it could have secured further coverage and new business leads.

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