Sanders and Sidney is a career consultancy which helps those who
have been made redundant. Colette Hill Associates (CHA) has worked with
the firm for more than three years and research about major employment
issues forms the majority of its work for the firm. Studies have been
undertaken every six months and have covered subjects such as ageism and
the loss of loyalty in the workplace.
Retirement was identified as a topic for debate and a hook for
publicising Sanders and Sidney early retirement services. The premise
was that early retirement has undergone a major image change as
increasing numbers of people are leaving conventional employment, not
necessarily to stop working but to do something different.
To position Sanders and Sidney among human resource directors and other
board members as a leading provider of outplacement and career
management services. To promote Sanders and Sidney managing director
Frances Cook as a regular commentator on key employment issues.
CHA worked with Sanders and Sidney and research associate Sue Pedley to
develop a research methodology. This included interviews with opinion
formers such as John Cridland, director of human resources policy at the
CBI and Clive Fletcher, professor of occupational psychology at
Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Sanders and Sidney fielded clients who had experience of early
retirement for case studies and their stories were included in press
releases. Questionnaires were also sent to Sanders and Sidney company
clients. The findings of the research were then compiled to form a
report named ’Redefining Retirement’.
CHA decided to launch the report with management writer Richard Donkin
on 3 December and offered first run of the story to the Financial
It also negotiated a preview of the report on Radio 4’s Shoptalk on 2
December and arranged for Frances Cook and pensions specialist David
Callund (another CHA client) to be interviewed alongside Richard
Shoptalk devoted its entire programme on 2 December to the subject of
retirement and the report was formally launched in the Financial Times
the following morning.
Frances Cook was interviewed by Sky News and BBC Business Breakfast -
the footage for which was picked up by BBC 2’s Working Lunch. Both
Business Breakfast and Sky used case histories to illustrate the
Articles followed in the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, the Sunday
Telegraph and the Independent on Sunday and a major news analysis piece
was published in the leading personnel publication People
Regional radio coverage followed on Radio Cumbria, BBC Southern Counties
Radio and BBC Radio Humberside.
CHA gained a lot of coverage by putting a fresh spin on a potentially
dull subject. The story caught the attention of the target media which
gave it full coverage and the use of case histories appealed to
broadcasters who often want more than a ’talking head’.
Frances Cook was able to build links with print and broadcast media and
as David Callund was introduced to the same media, his expertise in
pensions consulting added an extra financial dimension to the story.
Client: Sanders and Sidney
PR Team: Colette Hill Associates and in-house marketing department
Campaign: Early retirement
Timescale: June to November 1998
Budget: approximately pounds 10,000