The Royal Veterinary College

How PLMR helped RVC support their mission to continue to be positioned as a leading research, clinical and academic institution.


The Royal Veterinary College


Services provided

The Situation

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK’s largest and longest established independent veterinary school and a Member Institution of the University of London. It is the top vet school in Europe and ranked number one in the world. The RVC is also a research-led institution, with 88% of its research rated as internationally excellent or world class in the Research Excellence Framework 2021.

At the heart of its strategic aims are the three key pillars: education, the discovery and translation of new knowledge and the delivery of optimal clinical care and opinion.

PLMR has worked closely with the RVC since 2016 to support this mission to ensure they continue to be positioned as a leading research, clinical and academic institution. For example, this includes our efforts to publicise initiatives such as its research programme, VetCompass, which is focused on generating and disseminating epidemiological information on companion animals that can be applied to benefit animal health and welfare.

What we did

There is a vast amount of research and teaching excellence to promote, however, the communications team at the RVC is relatively small, meaning that this limited capacity presents challenges. Working with PLMR has not only provided extra resource for the team, but also means we can provide strategic advice on how to enhance the RVC’s profile, navigate any sensitive issues or challenges – including Covid-19 – and provide a maximised output for each of the three strands. This requires working with many different stakeholders across the business; we have developed incredibly strong relationships with academics and clinicians – also helping reduce the strain and time for the comms team – which has helped us identify the best stories to generate widespread recognition of the RVC’s role at the forefront of veterinary and medical research; its pioneering clinical practice; and its aim to recruit more international students.

We have been able to support the RVC with press office management including fielding and managing a large volume of enquiries every day; positive and reactive media opportunities; reputation management, including 24/7 support; and thought leadership editorial and comment opportunities at local, national, broadcast and trade level; all which span RVC’s activities and specialisms, from small animals and horses to farm animals and foreign and domestic wildlife.

The Result

Reflecting on annual performance, we achieved a total of 8,136 pieces of coverage for the RVC in a one year period, secured across multiple platforms both in the UK and internationally – most notably including Mail Online, The Express, CBC Radio, BBC Radio More or Less, Metro, The Guardian, Mail on Sunday, Telegraph, Vancouver Sun, BBC World and BBC Radio Scotland. Since 2019, we have also seen an increase in coverage by 145 per cent, with a 200 per cent increase also achieved in coverage that specifically demonstrates the RVC’s research excellence. All pieces were aligned with, and promoted, the RVC’s strategic aims. The reach of our coverage has exceeded hundreds of millions of readers, deepening their understanding of the RVC and its pioneering role and exemplary studies.

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PLMR’s crisis communications experience is second to none, and includes pre-emptive and reactive work across traditional and social media channels. We work with a range of organisations to offer critical communication support when they are faced with difficult and challenging scenarios.