Case Studies

The Royal Academy of Engineering

The Dilemmas of Privacy & Surveillance Report

March 2007

The brief was to ensure that key members of the advisory panel delivered clear and concise messages to the media about the importance of the report to the debate on privacy and surveillance and the increasing impact on society.

Media Training

The media training programme consisted of a session on defining the key outcomes of the report utilising everyday examples to illustrate the story, a review of the sound bite scenario, addressing relevant questions and a series of down the line interviews with a journalist and crew at an outside location. The participants were able to use this experience to good effect as the story gained national media exposure in a number of national newspapers, mainstream television and radio sources, pan European channels and on-line new sites.

A report by media evaluation company Echo on the campaign results commented, “Communications were clear with Nigel Gilbert and Ian Forbes widely quoted. The key message that engineers can play a pivotal role in providing solutions to the debate of privacy and surveillance was evident and balanced across the mediums.”

Professor Nigel Gilbert, Chair of the Working Group and the main media spokesperson commented on the value of media training, “The media training provided a vital tool in communicating the key findings of the report in a simple and coherent manner to a mixed audience. The practical exercises involving a film crew on College Green created the perfect opportunity to face the camera lens under the glare of the media community.”