freuds worked with Public Health England to launch the first ever national public health campaign on antibiotic resistance in October 2017, following a successful regional pilot earlier in the year.
5,000 deaths are caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some infections, yet awareness of this seismic health issue is relatively low. The PR campaign aimed to reach our target audience (those most likely to overuse antibiotics) and make the issue relevant to their family through a compelling news narrative which highlighted the dangers of taking antibiotics when you don’t need them, and encourage them to take their doctor’s advice on antibiotics.
A key part of the complex media strategy that freuds executed was priming the media in advance through a media medics’ roundtable event, stakeholder engagement programme, and a media day held at PHE’s Colindale lab, allowing broadcasters to capture a bespoke package, including footage of an antibiotic resistance experiment and interviews with key spokespeople.
At launch, the campaign achieved blanket coverage across all national and broadcast media. Through careful media handling, the campaign ignited an important debate, yet maintained a positive sentiment in the vast majority of coverage. The briefing of media medics proved crucial at launch as many influential voices came out in support of the campaign, highlighting how everyone can play their part in tackling antibiotic resistance.