Grand Hotel, Brighton
On October 12, 2009, The Grand in Brighton held a memorial service and ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the IRA bomb in 1984 that killed five people at the hotel.
Hotel general manager Michael Knox-Johnston invited more than 250 people to attend the event. High profile guests included Norman Tebbit and his wife Margaret, who was paralysed in the blast, and Jo Berry, the daughter of Anthony Berry who was killed.
Cobb PR was brought in to manage the media interest and began planning for the day weeks in advance. It was our objective to keep media attention focussed on The Grand while not appearing to glamorise the incident.
In preparation we arranged for many of the key figures to attend a media briefing at the hotel three days before the anniversary.
We also issued a detailed operational note to all media outlets a week before the event outlining who would be available for interview and to invite the press to film around the hotel.
The event attracted several TV crews and reporters who interviewed rescuers and survivors. As a result we fulfilled one of our key objectives as much of the coverage featured the hotel.
On the day, the BBC and ITV ran the story whilst several national and local newspapers also attended the event. This resulted in widespread coverage the following day. We also welcomed Roger Spottiswoode a documentary filmmaker for US television.