Written by Sena McGrand • Published 17th September 2018 • 2 minute read

Vardags is the UK’s leading law firm for high net worth individuals, families and companies. The firm was founded by Ayesha Vardag, the ‘Diva of Divorce’, and is renowned as the home of life-changing, law-changing divorce and family litigation for high and ultra-high net worth cases.

The challenge

The PHA Group accepted the task of creating a PR campaign that would raise awareness of the current fault-based divorce system that Vardags believes to be outdated and destructive.

PHA developed the Campaign for Family Law Reform and launched it at a stand-out fringe event ‘Sex, Lies and Irreconcilable Differences: Time for No-Fault Divorce?’ at the Conservative Party Conference.

Our strategy

The idea of the event was simple: to create a panel discussion about no-fault divorce and get people talking about an issue that historically has not been discussed. The goal was to encourage attendance to the event and engage with the topic – and we were competing against Jacob Rees-Mogg (in the room next door) for attendees. After a long vetting process, PHA selected a lively, high profile, entertaining panel who wouldn’t be afraid to pull punches.

Radio presenter Nick Ferrari agreed to chair the panel, and the decision was made to enlist TV personality and columnist Katie Hopkins, who’d had first-hand experience of the backlash of a fault-based divorce system.

Beyond this, we wanted to create a powerful visual that highlighted the serious matter. And so, Katie Hopkins entered the Party Conference in her very own wedding dress, handing out invites, and making headlines.

 Results

Ultimately, our campaign moved the dial on awareness of no-fault divorce in the UK.

  • The launch of the campaign not only had the room filled to 280 (max capacity), but the event itself generated ten articles in the national media and trended on Twitter.
  • The image of Katie in her first wedding dress was the picture of the day in The Daily Telegraph and was supported by a PHA-drafted tweet for Katie which created a Twitter ‘moment’.

The coverage wasn’t just limited to the day of the event – we wanted to ensure this campaign reached as many people as possible.

  • Meticulous planning meant an exclusive interview with Ayesha in The Times which went live two weeks before the conference, as well as a BBC Breakfast interview the day before. We also secured an Independent interview with Ayesha on the day of the event, outlining the objectives of the campaign.
  • After the conference, BBCR2 Jeremy Vine no-fault divorce interview aired, allowing for both sides of the debate to be argued on primetime broadcast channel.
  • This was followed by a first-person piece from Katie Hopkins on the Mail Online – further pushing the topic into the public domain.

The event was highly successful and was widely praised as the best event of the conference season, winning ‘Conference Fringe Event of the Year’ at the prestigious Public Affairs Awards 2017.

Are you a lawyer or work for a firm looking to make waves in the media landscape and drive real impact and cut-through? Speak to our team today to find out how we can work with you in partnership to deliver your communications strategy