Making the headlines: Fertility Festival 2018

Fertility Fest, the world’s first arts festival dedicated to fertility, took place at Bush Theatre in May 2018. Over 150 world class artists and fertility experts shared the stage to explore the bigger picture of fertility through theatre, music, film, photography, dance, visual arts, literature, poetry, workshops and debate. Founders Jessica Hepburn and Gabby Vautier – both of whom went through IVF – are passionate about using the power of the arts to explore these complex societal issues and emotional experiences, with the aim of encouraging wider public discourse, improving the emotional care of fertility patients and the fertility education of young people.

Midas was appointed to deliver a targeted PR campaign promoting the festival and its key objectives, raising the profile of the festival directors and positioning Jessica as a leading fertility advocate, as well as putting building blocks in place for a successful long term campaign for the accompanying arts education project, designed to help create change in the education system and introduce fertility education onto the curriculum. Jessica’s second memoir – 21 Miles – was also launched at the festival, and we were tasked with drawing in messaging about the book to our media coverage.

We began by establishing the key campaign messages and how these would ideally appear within coverage, taking into account the various strands: festival, education project and memoir. We agreed a top tier ‘hit list’ of media outlets and identified the festival elements and issues that would best appeal to each, with Jessica put forward as lead spokesperson drawing on her personal story. This strategic working enabled us to make extremely bespoke pitches, build strong media relations and ensure all content was carefully placed to maximise value. Alongside, we created a segmented approach to promote the programme strands (eg. theatre, film, visual arts, cinema) as well as the education project, ‘Modern Families’. Using the Government RSE consultation as a hook, we announced the project with a high impact news story positioning the work as pioneering and essential, and Jessica as a leading fertility voice.

Midas secured 6 pieces of TV coverage including interviews on BBC 1: Breakfast, BBC 2: Victoria Derbyshire, BBC World: News and ITV London: News, and 17 pieces of radio, including interviews with Jessica on BBC Radio 4: PM, BBC Radio London: Vanessa Feltz, BBC Radio 5 Live: Steven Nolan and Talk Radio. We secured profile interviews with Jessica in publications hitting our key demographic, including Daily Telegraph: Women, London Evening Standard, The Pool, Stylist and Grazia.

We gave ‘Modern Families’ as an exclusive news story to The Times, who ran on the front page and as a leader. This generated an avalanche of coverage, with comment pieces / news including The Sun, Independent, Daily Mail, i newspaper, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, The Guardian, The Spectator, The TES, The F Word and Huffington Post, numerous broadcast discussing during their daily paper reviews, such as LBC and BBC Radio 2: Vanessa Feltz, and ITV: Loose Women using the project as basis for a discussion about the importance of fertility education in schools.

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