The Clink

The Challenge

Media engagement has played a critical part in The Clink Charity’s success with international, national, regional and trade media coverage helping to deliver the charity’s message far and wide.

As the charity has grown from one Clink Restaurant in 2009 to four restaurants, two gardens and an event catering initiative in 2016 Custard has worked to deliver the right messages to the right media. The umbrella message for the charity is ‘reducing reoffending rates through work-based education within prisons’ and this underpins all communications. However, each prisoner training project requires a more targeted message whether that is driven regionally or topic-specific depending on whether it relates to the restaurants, gardens or catering.

The Solution

With the addition of a second horticulture project in 2014 and continued growth for The Clink in this area, Custard identified a new angle to approach media with – ‘plot to plate’. The idea was to give journalists a complete experience that began at HMP Send, where women prisoners are training in horticulture and producing up to 75% of the herbs, fruit and vegetables served in The Clink’s south east based restaurants, and concluded with a three-course lunch at The Clink Restaurant at HMP High Down where they could see the produce in action and taste it first-hand.

With a high volume of announcements throughout the year much of the national, foodie and consumer media that Custard has communicated with over the last six years have already covered The Clink generously. With this in mind, Custard took a different approach and identified 10 strong titles, that hadn’t previously been fully engaged and most of which had a regional or gardening focus, to attend the exclusive event.


70% of the media targeted attended the event and 100% of those in attendance went on to publish dedicated features that each contained The Clink’s specific messages. Having two members of the Custard team present at the event ensured brand messaging was accurate and consistent. The reach of the coverage was significantly higher than the collective reach of just the publications invited due to a conscious move to invite the Press Association’s gardening columnist who shared her feature with numerous regional newspapers as part of Custard’s plan to reach communities outside of The Clink projects’ locations.

Unique website hits during this six-week period were up by 8.93% compared to the previous six weeks and up 35.59% on the same period of the year before.

Media in attendance:

  • Press Association
  • Surrey Advertiser
  • Good Things Magazine
  • Luv Food Luv Drink Blog
  • Bloomberg
  • Woking News & Mail
  • WI Life

Coverage achieved:

  • 1 television interview
  • 15 online cuttings
  • 71 printed cuttings

TOTAL REACH: 5,727,693 in a six-week period