An analysis by Be Broadcast, a broadcast public relations specialist, shows that Matt Hancock MP’s goal to raise awareness and spark discussions about dyslexia was not achieved during his time in the jungle. Whilst there were over one thousand mentions of Dyslexia across UK broadcasting outputs, the company’s investigation discovered the MP’s mention of dyslexia minimally contributed to this number during his time on the show. The majority were ‘neutral’, with mentions of the learning difficulty relating to Mr Hackcock’s reasoning for joining the show. Other comments made by the MP were also classed as ‘negative in tone’ by the report, with the ex-Secretary OF State for Health and Social care referring to the subject as a ‘joke’.
The data ranges from the beginning of November to December, concluding mentions of dyslexia were overshadowed by breaking news that OFCOM had received thousands of complaints about the MP’s appearance on the show. Once Matt Hancock MP noted he was seeking ‘forgiveness’, findings show the subject of Dyslexia struggled to gain traction. Specifically, in comparison to 1,373 mentions of “Dyslexia” across broadcasting outlets, there were over 22,000 mentions of “Matt Hancock” during the period that the show aired.
Until post-series analysis, the subject of dyslexia made very little headway for the remainder of the series. Josh Wheeler, founder of Be Broadcast, commented: “If the intention was to really shine a light on Dyslexia – which impacts around 10% of Brits – then we would be disappointed with these results.”
He continued: “To an extent, the issue appears to have been used and messaging around the subject matter just didn’t land. Lots has been made about his intentions including a return to politics, media career and redemption – but based on this, it could be suggested the topic of dyslexia has been taken advantage of.”
The Dyslexia Foundation
The Dyslexia Foundation are a charity that ensures counselling and support for Dyslexia gets the funding and treatment it deserves.
With the specialist broadcast agency donating support to the charity, Steve O’Brien, CEO of the Dyslexia Foundation added: “The main problem with dyslexia is many people come into the space and leave without doing anything. As a media personality, Matt Hancock came across in the Jungle, like Ed Balls’ reinvention. I was disappointed that Matt never discussed his work to support the bill to screen children for dyslexia and give dyslexic children a voice in any detail.”
With the MP recently returning to parliament for his second reading of the Dyslexia bill, A bill to make provision for screening for dyslexia in primary schools, the charity founder believes his appearance on the show missed an opportunity to highlight his campaign. “We had Matt on our Podcast Words Fail Me, and he talked about his dyslexia positively and discussed his plans to screen children. But the UK does not have the infrastructure to address dyslexia, and hardly any trained teachers or financial support for formal diagnostic assessments or remediation. Matt had a great opportunity to do something with his position and prime time slot. I imagine he will leave the space with little change.”
Be Broadcast is a specialist broadcast agency, that help brands get on TV and Radio. The company undertake analysis to define how the media approaches subjects, to help inform strategy. Be Broadcast works with a diverse range of clients from FTSE 100 brands through to small charities.