Raising brand awareness and funds for the UK’s leading music therapy charity 

The Brief

Barley’s brief was to develop a compelling media campaign for the return of the live concert for Christmas 2021, starring Sir Rod Stewart and Imelda May, along with an online showcase hosted by Nile Rodgers. Our aim was not only to sell tickets, encourage online views and donations, but also to raise brand awareness and secure quality coverage to communicate Nordoff Robbins’ core messages.

Insights and Approach

Barley developed a two-pronged media strategy involving media engagement ahead of the concert, along with celebrity-led photo stories from the night. 

By drawing on celebrity performers and readers at the concert along with client case studies and interviews with the CEO, Barley ensured Nordoff Robbins’ core messages were included in media coverage. 

Securing in depth pieces with broadcast media ahead of the concerts meant that people could understand the impact of the charity’s work. The presenters shared the emotive interview clips on social media, ensuring more potential donors would learn about Nordoff Robbins. 

Music press was an important element, as the charity works closely with Artists and the music industry, as well as consumer focused and international coverage to encourage online views from around the world.  

The Outcome

Barley achieved 193 coverage items with opportunities to see/hear of over 738 million. National broadcast media interviews with star Imelda May and a Nordoff Robbins case study family ahead of the event included Sky News with Kay Burley and a half hour Times Radio programme dedicated to the charity’s work which also featured an interview with CEO Sandra Schembri. Securing an exclusive with PA ensured pieces in The i, Yahoo and blanket regional coverage prior to the concert. Key pieces were secured with Independent Radio News and music press including NME and Music Week.

Working with PA photography, iconic images from the concert appeared at a prime inside front cover position in The Daily Telegraph along with The Daily Express, The Mirror and Hello. Targeting Londoner’s Diary by offering an interview with Imelda May resulted in a prominent story in The Evening Standard. 

Barley liaised with Reuters to secure filming of the event and interviews with stars and CEO Sandra Schembri were syndicated to news outlets around the world. 

Over 800 people attended the concert at St Luke’s Church, Chelsea, despite a rise in Covid cases affecting audience numbers at other events. The live and online concerts raised over £200,000 for the charity. 



pieces of coverage



opportunities to see/hear



attended the concert in Chelsea




raised for Nordoff Robbins