Peter Tatchell Foundation – Qatar Protest

Challenge

Be Broadcast, The Wright Publicity and Original Spin teamed up with The Peter Tatchell Foundation to stage the first LGBT+ protest in Qatar – or any gulf state – one month before the World Cup began.

Following an extensive planning process, the collective began to prepare for launch.

Peter unveiled his protest outside the National Museum in Doha – and a colleague was filming via hidden GoPro.

Action

As soon as the PR team received the word “arrested”, Be Broadcast chose from scenario planned media materials and engaged outlets.

A pre-agreed process followed. Be Broadcast would lead on engagement and breaking news – with support from the broader teams to handle the scale of logistics and media delivery.

A ‘follow the sun’ model ensured a member of the team was always available globally for media.

Be Broadcast was appointed as the official spokesperson while Peter was out of action – supporting members of the Foundation as well as all external communications. All social media, print, online, Government, donors, and internal audiences was managed by Be Broadcast.

Be Broadcast led the media approach, with partner agencies picking up when the UK was asleep – meaning all media had direct contacts for any developments in the story.

As soon as Peter was released, Be Broadcast lined up media interviews following flight time.

Results

Once released, Peter undertook interviews with global media pre-secured.

  • Media Outlets: This included the New York Times, Mail Online, BBC News, Reuters, Press Association, the Guardian, Good Morning Britain, BBC Radio 4, The Times, Times Radio, Sky News, Associated Press, NRK (Norway), Forbes and many more.
  • Media Coverage: In total, this activity was secured: 586,000 pieces of online coverage globally, 352,700 items of print coverage globally, 38,900 mentions on broadcast globally.
  • Social Media: The number one trending subject on Twitter in the UK for the first two hours.

Following Peter’s release, the Qatari government reacted by stating that he was not arrested but detained, which extended the discussion. The UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, said, “One of the things I’d say to football fans is, please do be respectful of the host nation,” which many interpreted as “be less gay” if you attend, which again extended discussion of the activity.

Both of these instances allowed a shining a light on the importance of the message.

Continuing the conversation

Be Broadcast kept the conversation going by applying pressure to artists performing in Qatar at the World Cup ceremonies – including Craig David and Calvin Harris – which saw entertainment titles engage more broadly.

Conversations continued around Qatar’s Human Rights as excitement around the World Cup began. That week the Socceroos (the Australia men’s national soccer team) launched campaign materials in reaction.

Be Broadcast delivered the most impactful campaign for the charity (Peter Tatchell), with the second-highest peak in 2018 being his high-profile protest in Russia – which Netflix in ‘Hating Peter Tatchell’ later serialised’.

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