Fighting With Pride was founded in 2020 to support LGBT+ veterans, serving personnel and their families, particularly those who were affected by the Armed Forces ‘gay ban’. Before January 2000, thousands of LGBT+ service personnel were removed or forced from service and abandoned. The charity is working to restore the military covenant and bring this community back into the military family.

Our role initially was to develop a communications strategy for Fighting With Pride, to support the charity’s organisational plan. This involved a situational analysis, defining comms objectives, mapping target audiences, identifying channels and developing key messages, and then creating an outline comms plan.

We then began providing hands-on media relations support on a number of reactive and proactive stories. The most significant opportunity was when Fighting With Pride was invited to march at the National Service of Remembrance. It was the first time LGBT+ veterans were officially and openly invited to the event at the Cenotaph.

Ahead of the day, we developed media materials, focusing on the announcement and the stories of veterans who were discharged from the Armed Forces due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Immediately prior to and over Remembrance weekend, we fielded calls, handled interview requests, and worked closely with the Fighting With Pride team to provide reporters with everything they needed to cover the story.

This activity resulted in over 330 pieces of coverage with an opportunity to see of more than 61m. Joint Chief Executive Caroline Paige featured as part of the official BBC coverage and was interviewed by BBC Radio 5 Live and fellow JCE Craig Jones MBE was interviewed on ITV Lunchtime News. News and comment pieces, images, quotes, and features appeared in numerous national titles including the Mail Online, i, the Times, Metro and the Daily Mirror.

As well as handling the media, we also ran Fighting With Pride’s social media across Remembrance weekend. We developed content in advance, liaised with photographers to post images of the events, shared media posts, and engaged with stakeholders including MPs, Government Ministers and other Armed Forces charities. Twitter followers over the weekend increased by over a third.