PRWeek UK Awards Winners 2020: Best Proactive Communications During the Coronavirus Crisis

The winner in this category is 'Feed NHS' by Talker Tailor Trouble Maker for Leon.

PRWeek UK Awards Winners 2020: Best Proactive Communications During the Coronavirus Crisis

This campaign aimed to raise £1m to get hot, healthy meals to frontline NHS staff during the coronavirus crisis, as many struggled to get them amid lockdown closures. It was set up by Leon Restaurants co-founder and chief executive John Vincent, actors Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory, and actor and comedian Matt Lucas.

Leon had already announced a 50 per cent discount for NHS staff when the coronavirus struck, but with the severity of the crisis growing daily, more support was needed.

A spot on Good Morning Britain was secured for launch, with interviews with Lewis and McCrory. Brand guidelines, messaging documents, brand Q&A, interview briefings, press materials, media alerts and visual assets were created within days.

Proceeds from the release of the famously reworked version of Lucas' song 'Thank You Baked Potato', reworded to give advice on how to avoid the virus, went to FeedNHS, and placements were secured on BBC Radio One, The One Show, talkSPORT and The Andrew Marr Show.

Through contact with central government and NHS Trusts, service began to five hospitals across the UCLH and Imperial NHS Trusts in London from two dedicated Leon restaurants on 30 March; the scheme grew from there.

The campaign's initial £1m fundraising target was reached within two weeks. To mark the milestone, additional partnership opportunities were secured, creating a coalition of leaders in the catering industry. FeedNHS has since joined up with Mealforce and BaxterStorey to co-ordinate food provision for critical care teams across the NHS at scale.

More than 1,200 pieces of coverage were secured. A total of £1.3m has been raised for FeedNHS and the campaign will in total raise more than £1.7m. At the time of the entry, FeedNHS was delivering 40,000 hot meals a day to NHS staff across 101 hospitals nationwide.

Judge’s comment

Brilliant campaign, well executed with passion.

Highly commended

The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

This campaign aimed to keep the Trust's staff and patients safe and tell their story to the nation. A COVID-19 ‘hub’ was launched on its website with essential operational information and more, complemented by a weekly video briefing. The Trust worked with Label1, the production company behind BBC Two documentary Hospital, with camera crews filming from day one of the lockdown when the virus was hitting its peak. The campaign generated 1,494 pieces of positive media coverage.


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