PRWeek UK Awards Winners 2021: Public Affairs

This award went to Interel for APPG – creating a five-point call to action for the Government after the UK’s beauty and wellness industry was hit by the pandemic.

'#notalaughingmatter', Interel for the APPG on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing
'#notalaughingmatter', Interel for the APPG on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing

Winner – '#notalaughingmatter', Interel for the APPG on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing

Throughout the pandemic, the UK’s beauty and wellness industry has been hit hard. Businesses have been forced to close again and again and the sector was left at the bottom of the Government’s priorities list, completely in the dark about when it could welcome back clients, with thousands of jobs and businesses on the line.

This would mean bringing together the multifaceted but fragmented industry to make politicians and decision-makers take seriously a predominantly female sector that has often been sidelined and ignored.

Interel created a five-point call to action for the Government, backed by evidence of the industry's £30bn annual contribution to the economy and the role of its 50,000 businesses as cornerstones of high streets up and down the country.

The agency worked flexibly in a fast-moving situation, writing many letters to leading members of the Government and offering these as exclusives to national media, with MP supporters challenging its male-led approach to COVID-19 recovery in a number of parliamentary debates. Allies from elsewhere in Parliament united around #notalaughingmatter after William Wragg MP’s exchange with the Prime Minister about the need to reopen beauty outlets was met with laughter during PMQs.

The agile 10-month campaign helped prompt government U-turns after lockdown easing announcements had initially kept areas of the beauty industry off limits. In January 2021, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy announced the formation of its first beauty sector-specific team, and the personal care sector was one of the first to open when Step 2 of the roadmap out of lockdown began on 12 April.

The judges said

A very effective and impactful campaign – it’s clear that multiple avenues and a breadth of stakeholders were engaged to drive notable change for the beauty industry, and it has hopefully changed perceptions of it for good.


Highly Commended – 'Stamp Out The Gap', Shook for Adult Cerebral Palsy Hub

As adults with cerebral palsy (CP) don’t get joined-up healthcare like people with other lifelong conditions, they can feel like second-class citizens. Shook translated that insight into six mock second-class stamps featuring celebrities with CP. These were sent to MPs and media, winning the attention of the disability minister and a new grant to continue the charity’s work.


'All aboard: securing Britain’s national strategy for buses' by The Go-Ahead Group

'Powering the UK's Vital Connections' by Liberty Global, Virgin Media

'Pushing decarbonisation in housing to the top of the agenda' by Cavendish Advocacy for Stonewater

'Tax Homes Fairly' by WPI Strategy for Fairer Share

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