Saving London’s Human Trafficking Unit

Saving London’s Human Trafficking Unit

October 2009

Please see below for the case study on how Journalista used a fully integrated public affairs, public relations and social media strategy to successfully campaign to keep the Metropolitan Police’s dedicated Human Trafficking Unit open.

PR Week March 2010

PR Week March 2010

Interview for the Politics Show

Interview for the Politics Show

Interview with Andrew Cryan for The Politics Show

Interview with Andrew Cryan for The Politics Show

Comment is Free 7 October 2009

Comment is Free 7 October 2009

  • PR Week March 2010
  • Interview for the Politics Show
  • Interview with Andrew Cryan for The Politics Show
  • Comment is Free 7 October 2009

Journalista alerted its retained client Mary Honeyball MEP, a passionate women’s rights campaigner, to a leaked report, on the Today Programme 7 October 2009, revealing the Metropolitan Police’s plans to close its dedicated Human Trafficking Unit. We suggested a low-cost campaign to mobilise supporters of the unit and rally to keep the unit’s dedicated expertise in fighting trafficking and supporting victims.

Provide a strong call to action:
An online petition.
Unite the supporters of the unit.
Provide a tangible record of the level of local, political and global support to keep the unit.

Promote using:

Combination of well established social media channels.
Established networks.
High profile, relevant mainstream media outlets.
Previously unpublicised research into links between trafficking and large sporting events, such as the London 2012 Olympics.

Cumulative event:
Present the final petition to one of the key decision makers on the MPA Board, ahead of their decision on the funding on 26 November 2009.
Have this filmed by a London news channel.

Post campaign:
Chief Executive of the MPA responded that this petition would be considered at the MPS Management Board scheduled for 8th December 2009.
Provided Woman’s Hour with an exclusive on this outcome, as previously agreed.
Secured coverage of the campaign in PR Week and Campaign magazine.

Creativity – what makes the campaign stand out?

Using a well integrated combination of online, social, broadcast and print media, alongside public affairs and networking techniques, we  put Mary Honeyball MEP in a unique position of authority on this issue to the audiences we sought to influence.

Using these methods we evidenced our clients political and campaigning position as a renowned women’s rights campaigner, and London representative within the European Parliament. This positioned the campaign as an issue of local importance to Londoners and world wide significance to all vulnerable women at risk of trafficking.

Using  new statistics and research on the connection between large scale sporting events and an increase in prostitution, sourced by Journalista, Mary Honeyball was able to make a highly convincing case for keeping the Human Trafficking Unit ahead of the London Olympics in 2012.

Evaluation and measurement
As a campaign aimed at changing the public policy agenda this campaign’s ultimate goal is to stop the Human Trafficking Unit becoming amalgamated into the Central Unit and losing its specialised workforce.

To achieve this result, the MPA Board need to be convinced that there was significant strength of public opinion to support the funding of the Human Trafficking Unit. So we measured the strength of tangible support in:

Social media
Hit rates to the blog – increased by 76 per cent
Facebook group followers – 363 members
Re-tweets – 606

Audience reach of media coverage
Woman’s Hour 2.8 million weekly audience/5 = 560,000
LBC – Ken Livingstone Show 121,000
The Politics Show 1,000,000 (nationally), est. London – 144,670
Guardian Comment is Free 2,010,341 Daily Average Unique Browsers
Evening Standard 603,841
New Europe 66,000
PR Week 14,818
Campaign 9,005

Total reach = 3,529,675

Signatures for the campaign
High profile signatures: Anti Slavery Organisation, the Public and Commercial Services Union and individual politicians including Keith Vaz MP and London MEP, Claude Moraes

Total signatures: 1,804 over seven weeks

By maximising our use well-established and free methods of communication including a well-publicised blog, Facebook site and Twitter profile, we managed to attract immediate support for the campaign.

The majority cost of the campaign, which cost approximately £6250 over three months of retained fees for Journalista, was spent on staffing costs. Journalista was able to keep this figure low, in comparison to the reach and effect of the campaign, by using well established media and political contacts across sectors relevant to our client.

Final results against objectives

By publicly demonstrating significant strong political, public and media support for the Unit, Journalista got the MPA Board to reverse their decision on funding. Instead of moving the Human Trafficking Unit outside of the specialised units, the MPA Board instead decided to move all of Clubs and Vice into the specialised unit. Not only retaining, but increasing the number of highly specialised officers able to reduce crime and support victims within this area.

Following a call to Journalista to request a one to one conversation with our client Ms Honeyball, Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick issued Journalista with a statement saying:

“We have listened to feedback and concerns raised by stakeholders and as a result have decided that the Clubs and Vice command will move in its entirety from Central Operations into Specialist Crime.”

This result was viewed as a success and reported on Woman’s Hour as such the following week.

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