The media and Richard III

The Media and Richard lll
There’s a famous quiz in which the answer is a number, and the contestants need to guess the question.
While we would like the results of the Rlll Communications and Media Strategy to be about content and
quality, inevitably there’s a push towards quantifying the week. So, “366 million” is the global estimated
number of people who saw or heard some of the coverage of the week of reinterment. It brings a smile
to the team who hoped that at least we’d get the BBC here!
The figures we can use are the result of the work of a cross partnership team of Communications
specialists from each organisation, delivering cross-platform content and engagement throughout the
planning and execution of the week of events. We admit that some areas were difficult to ‘sell’ for
immediate publication advance, the nature of modern media distribution being about what is happening
now rather than in 2, 4 or 6 months’ time, but that aside the registration of 150 global news agencies in
early January 2015 was very encouraging. We closed the list at that point, but had many other enquiries.
Local TV and Radio, and print Press all used the events as major subjects for coverage, for discussion, for
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Examples of the use of mixed media were significant, for example a
print paper actually counts their online views and their twitter followers, not just the number of
hardcopies bought. Our local outlets (in particular Radio Leicester, East Midlands Today, Central News)
all supported our efforts, and relationships were good throughout, boding well for the future. They
filmed and recorded around the county and in particular at the cathedral throughout March, from dawn
until nightfall, interviewing everybody and covering all angles.
UK national press were very slow to publish other than the University stories about Rlll, which continued
to flourish. This is largely because they either wanted access to things we viewed as ‘secret’ including
the coffin and the pall, because these had obvious pictures attached, or they wanted controversy. Given
our line of ‘Dignity and Honour’ we decided that engaging in unnecessary argument was unhelpful. Once
we were able to release details of practical elements other than the reordering some editors became
more interested. Even during the events themselves, although the vast majority of coverage in the
nationals was positive, it’s a forum which permits and encourages alternate opinions, as opposed to
facts, and there was some negative copy.
Global Media loved it. TV and print journalists came from Europe, the USA, Canada, Japan and
Australasia, and in addition to ‘exclusive’ stories about the coffin for Macleans in Canada, we had the
front page of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.
All parts of the media were informed of developments by email, twitter and on the project website. We
accredited 950 journalists and technicians for the 10 day period and tried to ensure they all got what
they wanted and needed to do their job well.
Our contract with Channel 4 for delivery of 7 hours of live TV was not without tensions, but in the end
was deemed by them to be a great success with their largest ever audience of 6.2 million viewers. It was
hard work for everyone, and they saw us ‘warts and all’ as together we tried to ensure a good product
with accurate and sincere delivery. They are not intending to produce a DVD of the events, so using the
material we have shot ourselves we are creating a film to tell the story of the reinterment, with some
‘behind the scenes’ sections, and are trying to persuade Endemol to let us use some of the service
Overall, it was an exceptionally good time for the media and they were well served, which means that
the project was too.
Media Coverage Analysis
TV, C4
Live 6.2 m reaching 12m UK
Global 366m
Twitter @KRIIILeicester
Tweet impressions – 1.45M
Profile visits 57k
Mention 2700
March 21st – April 20th
#richardreburied = 37,000 uses
Replies to @KRIIILeicester – 6796
LH 03/06/15
Specific Website:
March 15th –April 5th
Sessions 216,000
Page views 514,000
Users 153,484
Press Coverage – For the Quarter
Total Value £6.58 million
Volume stories 1.27K
Total reach 216.68 milllion views
Average reach per story 169.94k