The four-minute film was developed by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO), in association with the Foreign Office, which gives travel advice to tourists, and has racked up an impressive 750,000 views across official social channels during its first five days.
It was originally developed for holiday reps and has already been used to train 23,000 of them across the world, via holiday trade association ABTA, but it was decided to propagate the film more widely to the public.
The campaign comes in the wake of the marauder-style terrorist attack in Tunisia, two years ago, in which 30 British tourists were murdered at a beach resort.
Aired last Monday by national media, the press team at NaCTSO carefully planned how to achieve maximum coverage by sending a release to the Press Association and other news desks on the preceding Sunday and offering interviews with detective chief superintendent Scott Wilson, national coordinator for Protect and Prepare.
Wilson and Christopher Terris Taylor, counter terrorism media officer for the National Police Chiefs' Council then did the rounds of broadcast breakfast shows last Monday, including the Today programme and Good Morning Britain, to promote and explain the campaign.
The film is not intended to scare people; it’s intended to make them more alert if the worst did happen. Our research shows people are more scared by not knowing what they should do than they are by being told and encouraged to have a plan.Christopher Terris Taylor, counter terrorism media officer for the National Police Chiefs’ Council
NaCTSO chiefs said the campaign should be viewed in the context of a safety film shown on an airline before take-off, in that people do not expect the worst to happen but would regard it as a sensible safety precaution.
Taylor told PRWeek: "The film is not intended to scare people. It's intended to make them more alert if the worst did happen.
"Our research shows people are more scared by not knowing what they should do than they are by being told and encouraged to have a plan."
The film was also propagated across NaCTSO’s social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Five days after its launch, the film had been viewed more than 750,000 times, with nearly 380,000 views on YouTube alone.
These numbers do not take account of views made via media outlets which have covered the campaign and which are likely to have significantly increased its reach.
The film, in three parts, contains the key messages of "Run, hide, tell" as well as a number of subsidiary messages at the end of each section.
All the messaging was developed by counter terrorism experts at NaCTSO, who specialise in training the public and businesses in how to keep themselves safe from attacks and what to do in the unlikely event the worst happens.
Taylor concluded: "The messaging was designed specifically to be easily remembered in times of great stress and panic, such as an attack. The subsidiary messaging is additional advice which could give people a greater level of security.
"We understand that in the event of an attack, people are likely simply to remember the basic 'Run, hide, tell' message, but that alone will increase a person's chances of escaping unharmed from a terrorist attack."
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