PRCA Audit Success

More great news at The View headquarters this week: we have just passed our biennial PRCA audit. The Public Relations Consultants Association has a strict control process to make sure that all their members reach the very highest standards. This means that we are working in ways which are efficient, effective, properly run, fair and accountable. Which is wonderful news all round!

The Communications Management Standard (CMS) is the accepted kitemark of PR excellence and professionalism.  Independently audited, it was created by the PRCA in 1997 and it is based on ISO 9001 and Investors In People, with criteria specifically tailored to the needs of public relations consultancies.

Lovely news for the weekend!

Blackadder goes forth into vodcasts!

We just couldn’t resist blogging again to share the exciting news that the podcast we created for our recent Blackadder story for our client Forces War Records has gone live. You can find it in a number of places online, now including here! Hope you enjoy watching it as much as we did. 

Operation Cunning Plan

We here at The View are massive Blackadder fans, so you can imagine our excitement when we found a real-life namesake for the fictional Edmund Blackadder. Forces War Records, a leading genealogy website and one of our clients, help thousands of people to locate their family in millions of war records, and to subsequently make sense of the information they find, so it was fascinating to see the process being applied to the cast of Blackadder.

Once we had received confirmation that all of the characters had real-life counterparts, the process of excavation began. We were particularly keen to find photographs of all the characters, and so wrote to the universities and schools which the namesakes had attended to try to track them down. Sadly, we were only able to find Lieutenant George, although he does cut quite a figure in his uniform. Staff, both here and at Forces War Records trawled The National Archives for more information to flesh out the story, and give the characters life. We even sent one of our own, Sarah Wright, down there to gather some key images.

Forces War Records were able to uncover some amazing information about the lives of the real-life namesakes for the Blackadder cast, proving that while all the characters shared their surnames and ranks some were more like their First World War counterparts than others. Both Blackadders were career soldiers, who rose up the ranks before the war, serving overseas before fighting in the Somme. Similarly both Lieutenant Georges attended Cambridge, where they rowed for their colleges, were artists, eventually pilots, and, tragically, died in the trenches.

From here the characters diverge slightly from their fictional counterparts – the real Baldrick, although also from humble origins, was able to read and write, and is listed on the 1901 census as a scholar. However, the most dissimilar was Captain Darling. The fictional Darling was a shirker, educated at Ipplethorpe Primary, who had a girlfriend called Doris. The real Captain Darling was a hero, fighting at most of the major battles; Mons, Marne, Aisne and Ypres, he was educated at Eton, and married with two children.

With the story fully researched, and releases drafted, edited, polished and finally approved, it was time to wait for broadcast day. Media sell-in had started the day before and so by the time we got to the office we had acquired a number of national newspapers and soon were busy clipping out articles, trawling the internet for stories, and tweeting away to share the good news! Meanwhile Sarah was in London, schmoozing with celebrities and historians. Between this, she managed to shoehorn in 26 radio interviews with Tim McInnerny (who played Captain Darling) and Tom Bennington (the amazing young researcher who uncovered the information), which is amazing, considering that normally broadcast days average around 10-15.

The pick-up on the story has been incredible and we’ve been very busy in the office ever since capturing articles in print and online, as well as social media mentions, which have abounded! All this despite the fact that our story broke on a very busy news day, shows how strong the story was. All in all it was a really great validation of all the hard work and effort which went into creating as well as promoting the story, and we’re pretty proud of how well the story has done.

by Ellen Whitehead