In 2020, we agreed to provide pro-bono communications advice and media relations support to scientists lobbying the UK government to recommend Vitamin D supplementation in the fight against Covid-19. We developed a three-phased communications strategy that used media coverage to exert pressure on the Department of Health to consider evidence presented by the scientific lobby.
Phase 1: Gather studies and publish evidence online, presenting this to leading media outlets including The New Scientist, The Observer, Daily Express and the BBC.
Phase 2: Approach and secure support from MPs and give them media coverage to lobby Parliament.
Phase 3: Increase the size of the scientific group and deliver an open letter to drive further publicity.
We delivered detailed features across major media outlets, including Daily Express and The Observer, and as new studies were published our scientists featured across the BBC, Telegraph, Daily Mirror and the i. David Davis and Rupa Huq joined the lobby, using the media coverage to question then Health Secretary Matt Hancock in the House. The lobbying campaign worked and the Department of Health agreed to examine the evidence. By November 2020, the Government agreed to promote Vitamin D supplementation and make it freely available to 2.5 million vulnerable Britons.