St Mary’s University – Launching ‘Contemporary Catholicism’
St Mary’s University, Twickenham
Date of work:
As part of the overall strategy to reposition St Mary’s University as an important voice in the public square, Lexington launched the first report from St Mary’s new research hub – the Benedict XVI Centre. The report ‘Contemporary Catholicism’ looked at levels of religiosity in England and Wales. Lexington was tasked with gaining media coverage for its findings and raising the profile of the Centre among political, religious and academic audiences.
Lexington began by bringing out the key messages and news angles from the research and created a narrative that appealed to the media. We then organised a panel debate in Parliament inviting MPs, religious figures, academics and journalists. The report was simultaneously released and sold in to national media organisations on the day of the debate to create maximum interest in the story.
The report gained blanket coverage in the national media, with the Guardian covering it on its front page. Other coverage included TIME magazine, The Sun, The Telegraph, The Metro and the Mail. This set the tone for a lively debate in Westminster which had high-level attendance including the MPs Jon Cruddas, Rob Flello, Stephen Timms, and Mark Durkan as well as journalists from the Evening Standard and the Telegraph. Broadcast coverage was achieved on the BBC Radio 4 news bulletin, Sky News and BBC Five Live. A strong sense of what makes a news story combined with careful event and media planning lead to results that far exceeded the client’s expectations. An ideal start to the life of the Benedict XVI Centre.