Educating the UK public and employers about the
perils of noise induced hearing loss
LimitEar is an innovative UK technology company, tackling a little known but dangerous underlying problem.
In the UK and the rest of the EU, employees are legally covered by their employer under the Noise at Work (NaW) Regulations in the UK and Directive 2003/10/EC. This stipulates that UK workers must not be exposed to sound over an average level of 85 dBA over an eight hour period.
A quarter of the British working population – 7.6 million – use earphones and headphones for work purposes. It’s in this environment where noise induced hearing loss is rapidly becoming a big problem for companies; with corporate claims on the rise, giving businesses and insurance companies alike a problem as it’s hard to disprove, similar to whiplash.
10% of UK adults suffer from Tinnitus (British Tinnitus Association) – a hearing condition that can be caused by work based noise induced hearing loss (NIHL), which is particularly prevalent amongst broadcast personnel, who could regularly be exceeding the legal limit for sound exposure.
With its innovative Hearing Dose Management (HDM Pro) technology, which intelligently manages sound levels of the user over an eight hour period, LimitEar wanted to raise awareness of the issue amongst key media verticals – and present its HDM Pro technology as the solution.
LimitEar previously conducted some PR in the broadcast space – so Firefly wanted to ramp up awareness of LimitEar in other relevant sectors.
To achieve this Firefly crafted a research based campaign with the aim of achieving widespread trade media coverage amongst the broadcast press, but also extending out into other trade verticals (HR, call centres, aviation) and national press.
LimitEar and Firefly agreed upon a list of key media verticals to target, where key players in the HR, finance and technology departments are likely to read up on key issues in their industry.
For a modest investment, Firefly created two research stories. The first was an in-depth focus on issues around noise induced hearing loss and how aware the UK workforce is of the risk to their hearing. This release was turned into two versions, one for trade media and another for consumer facing media.
The second revealed how long people in the UK spend in silence, with the aim of highlighting which city in the UK had the fewest quiet moments.
Through leveraging the strong relationships held by LimitEar, Firefly developed the releases further with insightful input from key trade figures, including Action on Hearing Loss, the Noise Abatement Society, QBE Insurance and HSE, the UK’s national independent agency for work-related health, safety and illness.
These stories created a platform upon which Firefly was able to place articles and profile pieces about the company and managing director Stephen Wheatley.
As a result of creating topical stories, Firefly helped to secure coverage in 80% of key trade media verticals frequented by key decision makers, including the likes of Audio Pro International, HR Director, Governance and Compliance and Call Centre Helper.
The coverage around the first release delivered 17% of all new visitors to the LimitEar website in May, with organic search also up by 21% compared to organic search the previous month.
In addition to achieving coverage in key trade press, Firefly also secured national coverage in The Times, The Daily Star and the Metro.
In the week of publication, the online article in the Metro drove 10% of all new visitors to the LimitEar website in July, who on average viewed three pages and spent two minutes and nine seconds on the site.
Over a five month period coverage helped LimitEar reach in excess of 24 million decision makers, employers and employees across key trade and national verticals.
Stephen Wheatley, Managing Director of LimitEar, says:
“Noise induced hearing loss and preventative measures isn’t widely knows or understood by the general public; however, millions are at risk of damaging their hearing. Firefly took this complex subject and made it relevant to the media agenda in order to spark discussion. The results of this campaign helped develop further partnerships due to the credibility of high profile articles in the nationals, and being seen in the relevant trade titles.”
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