“People in Britain sleep so little it’s making them unwell!” says private health insurance firm

A phenomenally successful piece of PR here, which secured coverage in at lest four major news publications:

UK among ‘world’s worst’ sleepers

Adults in the UK are some of the worst sleepers in the world, according to a survey.

In the survey of 1,000 people aged 18 and over, more than a third (37%) of Britons said they did not get the right amount of sleep.

People in India scored the best in the survey, carried out by Aviva, with 9%.

Source: BBC, 28th October 2016


Revealed: Brits can’t bare to have a good night’s sleep

WORN-out Brits are the worst sleepers in the world.

More than a third of people in the UK feel they are not getting enough shut-eye.

Experts blamed the problem on the 24/7 working culture, addiction to mobile phones, and anxiety.

Some 37% of Brits want to doze off for longer followed by the Irish (34%) and Canadians and Americans (31%).

Source: Daily Star, 28th October 2016


Good night’s sleep? Unlikely! Britons ‘are among the worst insomniacs in the world’

BRITONS are among the worst insomniacs in the world as they struggle to switch off and get a good night’s sleep, according to a new global study.

Research comparing the sleep patterns of people in 13 countries across Europe, North America and Asia found 37 per cent of UK adults complaining they do not get enough sleep – the highest proportion of any of the countries surveyed.

The problem is so bad, a quarter of people now list getting a better night’s rest as a health ambition, second only to the desire to lose weight (34 per cent).

Source: Express, 28th October 2016


Tired? No wonder – we’re the world’s worst at sleeping: More than one in three Brits don’t get enough rest

We’re world-beaters when it comes to drinking tea and queuing.

But at the end of the day, we really seem to struggle – for a study has shown Britain is the most sleep-deprived nation in the world.

Experts fear that our working culture of long hours and meagre lunch breaks is to blame for a new trend of insomnia.

Source: Daily Mail, 28th October 2016


The message right across the media is clear: our hectic, 24/7, non-stop lifestyles are causing us to neglect sleep, driving us all toward an early grave. But who is behind the story, and what do they stand to gain from making us all worry about our health?

Doug Wright, the medical director of insurer Aviva, which carried out the research, said: ‘Our fast-paced lives in the UK factor in little time for rest and relaxation, while our working culture encourages long hours, both in the office and at home.’

The life insurance wing of insurance company Aviva put this story together – presumably figuring that if we can make people consider their own mortality and morbidity with a well-placed reminder of what can happen when we don’t prioritise our health, they might be able to convince a few more people to take out life insurance cover for when ‘the inevitable’ happens.

Pressing the issue home, the coverage in the Express makes things even more explicit:

The problem is so bad, a quarter of people now list getting a better night’s rest as a health ambition, second only to the desire to lose weight (34 per cent).

Three in ten families plan to take action to improve their sleep over the next 12 months, compared to just 20 per cent who did this in 2015, found the latest Aviva Health Check survey.

What is particularly fascinating about this story is seeing the way the same information was presented in each different news outlet, as each either ran the Aviva press release through their own filters, or (as is more likely) ran stories based off a press release Aviva’s PR team had tailored to the style and interest of each publication.

The days of the mass-mailout press release are dead: PR firms these days know that scoring the widest spread of coverage means approaching each publication with a story already suited to their style and readership.