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Liverpool PR firm wins praise for life-saving defibrillator campaign

l-r: Dan Hughes with Mark King, Jamie Carragher and Lord Stuart Polak

Liverpool PR firm This Generation Communications, aka TGC, has won praise for its part in a campaign to persuade the government to place defibrillators in state schools nationwide.

The Oliver King Foundation – launched by Mark and Joanne King in 2012 following the tragic death of their son Oliver – this month won its decade-long fight for access to defibrillators to be mandatory in all schools.

Oliver died aged 12, during a school swimming race, from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome, a hidden heart condition which kills 12 young people every week.

His parents have since campaigned for a change in the law, and through the foundation have already placed 6,000 defibrillators in schools and organisations across the country. The Oliver King Foundation is aware of more than 60 lives directly saved thanks to its campaigning.

The charity enlisted the support of TGC, which was founded by former Labour Party campaigns manager Daniel Hughes, to help amplify their message in the press and work with them on a major political relations campaign.

TGC initially lobbied celebrity support, including long-standing backer Jamie Carragher as well as Steven Gerrard and Patrick Vieira, before sending a government-wide letter to MPs calling for change.

TGC then co-ordinated a targeted national media day which instigated high-profile coverage from major broadcasters, including BBC Breakfast, ITV and Sky News, as well as tabloid and broadsheet press.

This was followed by two parliamentary receptions, which allowed Mark King and the footballers to lobby MPs and Lords over changing legislation.

In March 2022, Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi finally committed to installing defibrillators in every school in the country, and last week the government announced that all schools would have the life-saving kit by the end of 2023.

Mark King said: “The Oliver King Foundation has been supported and driven by a spirited and constant campaign led by Daniel Hughes and his team. Daniel and his team left no stone unturned in the media, opened doors on Downing Street and went the extra mile everywhere in-between. We are excited to continue our working relationship as The Oliver King Foundation sets new goals which we are sure TGC will help us achieve.”

Hughes added: “Mark and Joanne King have fought for this moment for over a decade. Their heroic efforts are going to save young lives. I was pleased that we were able to help them to drive the campaign forward by engaging celebrity support, knocking down doors to reach Britain’s biggest decision makers and putting across the case for defibrillators in the media.”

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