The Covid Race and Ethnic Inequalities Programme

The Covid Race and Ethnic Inequalities Programme is one of the UK’s most ambitious research portfolios responding rapidly to the crisis posed by Covid-19, and its social, cultural and economic impact on racial and ethnic minorities. Led by the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), the research programme is a coalition of 10 universities in England and Scotland.

Words of Colour was commissioned to develop and implement a tailored communications strategy for this innovative, robust and timely research programme with its 10 work packages covering 15 research areas under five themes: mapping inequality, economic inequalities, education, policy, politics and activism, and health, mental health and ageing.

Words of Colour provided us with bespoke services including a full rebrand, expansion of our social media presence, media engagement and PR and overall visual impact, and provided training on digital engagement to our researchers. They organised an impactful virtual launch of our research programme which was targeted at key audiences and constituencies, bringing us into debate with creatives and people of influence who we would not otherwise have included.

They understood the importance of our research and the need to tread carefully through the political terrain we were navigating – having people who understood race in the UK was critical to our work and what they could provide us.

They worked closely and collaboratively with us on a tight schedule with a very involved piece of work, producing nine short films, social media assets, high impact events, wide media coverage and an overall strategy for strategic and digital communication. They were always a pleasure to work with – challenging us and rising to the challenge. They were flexible and resourceful in responding to the urgency of the work and the new conditions required by the pandemic.

 Professor Bridget Byrne, Director, Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE)

Over one year, we worked with the CoDE directors, lead researchers on core messages and PR goals, developed briefings for the media, the project’s spokespeople and the university partners press teams to provide consistency and coherence for any public messaging. This helped us to develop relevant promotional assets, including infographics and introductory films and a digital strategy for message reinforcement. This was beneficial as we were also entrusted with managing all of the social media platforms for messaging.

We also worked with the Sky News Forensic News Team to ensure the stories represented the research and the lived experiences that were being captured by the project.