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The National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work at Bournemouth University – promote the centre and its new national status

Victoria Tomlinson posted this on


Professor Keith Brown is director of the National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work at Bournemouth University.  We were asked to promote the centre and its new national status, establish Keith as a commentator on issues around protecting vulnerable people and train the academic team in advanced blogging skills.

Our approach was:

  • Working alongside a former BBC journalist, we helped Keith to explain his work and issues in care homes and hospitals in language that the public could understand
  • The National Centre held a high profile conference with Lord Justice Munby.  As chair, we asked Keith to open the conference with a call for hospitals and care homes to change the way they train those working with vulnerable people – providing a focus for the media coverage.  It was also linked to the ‘Jimmy Saville’ culture to help explain a complex topic
  • In advance of the conference we set up desk visits in London for Keith to explain the issues and what needed changing.  He met the Guardian, Telegraph, Health Service Journal and Nursing Times
  • These resulted in
  • An article in the Guardian online on the morning of the conference
  • An article in the Telegraph which generated 600 comments from doctors and nurses, leaders in the profession, patients and families of patients
  • The article also appeared in the Mail Online
  • HSJ commissioned a major article
  • Nursing Times commissioned a major article – trailing the article with quote and photo from Keith on the front coverage







  • We summarised the Telegraph comments in a blog by Keith
  • We also worked with the blogging team to help them introduce new elements to their blogs and use guest posts to engage with others

As a result of the coverage Keith has received numerous invitations from national bodies and the media, including sitting on a think tank with the King’s Fund; joining the NHS Leadership Quality team for a closed room response to the Francis Report; speaking at a special HEA summit to look at patient/client safety; and a three hour Radio 4 live debate on the Francis Report.

Professor Keith Brown said:  “Since working with Northern Lights, we have been fortunate enough to receive on-going media exposure which has supported the Centre during a crucial time for our sector. I don’t believe we would have had these opportunities without Victoria’s support, guidance and journalistic knowledge. Working with Northern Lights has been a launch pad and we will anticipate benefiting from their service for a long time to come”

James Donald, press and PR manager at Bournemouth University said:  “What impressed me most about the work that Victoria Tomlinson and Northern Lights PR did was that they took the time to work out what the National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work was about. They listened and came up with a strategy that fitted, rather than just dusting something off that had worked for someone else in the past.

“Victoria also spent the time working with Professor Keith Brown to meet with journalists and to work through feature ideas, as well as helping him with media presentation. I think the excellent results Northern Lights PR achieved are testament to a job well done.”

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