Campaign: The London Regiment in Afghanistan
Client: The London Regiment
PR Team: In-house
Timescale: December 2006 to October 2007
In April last year 140 troops from Somme Company, a reservist-led troop mainly comprising soldiers from London's Territorial Army Infantry Battalion (AKA the London Regiment), were sent to Afghanistan. The London Regiment felt it was important the role reservists play in areas of conflict, such as Afghanistan, should be recognised.
To raise the profile of the London Regiment as a reservist unit of civilians and its role in Afghanistan.
Strategy and plan
The bulk of the PR work was carried out by the regiment's second in command Major Giles Morgan, who has experience of PR in his civilian life including a stint as group communications manager at Global Strategies Group.
To ensure media relations complied with Ministry of Defence PR activities, he worked closely with Lt Colonel David Sievwright of the Army's London HQ District. In addition, Surrey-based BCP was used for local media coverage of company members from the south east of England.
Crucial to the media plan was using key points in the life of the regiment before, during and after its time in Afghanistan, including its mobilisation in February and deployment in April.
This included negotiating a deal with ITV London to regularly follow up the story of the regiment between February and October. A key focus of activity was a homecoming parade for family and friends in October, arranged with media relations support from the City of London press office.
Measurement and evaluation
ITV London news ran eight pieces about the regiment between February and October. Other TV coverage came from BBC News.
The Evening Standard carried articles before and during the company's deployment to Afghanistan and the homecoming parade was covered by The Sun, Daily Mirror, Evening Standard, Metro and The Daily Telegraph.
Anecdotally, this has raised the profile of the regiment's role in the capital, according to Major Morgan, who added that the London Regiment had gained publicity during its tour of Iraq in 2004, 'but there was much more interest this time from the media'.