The outbreak of Covid saw a dramatic increase and intensification in racist incidents directed towards East and Southeast Asian communities in the UK. But there was no dedicated support service available and no way to accurately record the scale of the problem.

This changed with the launch of On Your Side, a helpline and website offering specialist advisors and new reporting options to anyone from East or Southeast Asian communities who has experienced racism or any form of hate because of an aspect of their identity or perceived identity.

We were brought in to handle the media launch of the service, which was set up by a coalition of 15 national and community-based groups. We developed a media strategy, created tailored materials for different target media, pitched to journalists and coordinated interview requests. Prior to the launch we developed and delivered a bespoke media training session for three spokespeople, to prepare them for interviews.

Despite a busy news agenda, the activity generated over 150 pieces of coverage, including reports in The Guardian (print and online),, Asian Image, Eastern Eye and Asian Voice. Working with PA Media, the story was picked up extensively by regional media, and by outlets in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Interviews were set up with broadcasters, including BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Scotland TV, LBC, STV and BBC Radio Bristol.