Wednesday 7th November marked the end of a long and emotional journey. After five years, artist Rob Heard saw the final “shrouded figure” laid on the lawn at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as his poignant art installation was finally complete. It also marked the end of a project for Zest, who started working with Rob and the Shrouds of the Somme in September 2017, supporting his mission of bringing 72,396, 12-inch shrouded figures representing Commonwealth servicemen killed at the Somme who have no known grave, to London ahead of the centenary of Armistice Day.

Zest were chosen to lead the project due to their excellent relationship with both national and forces press, using their expertise to support Shrouds of the Somme in a series of nationwide events promoting the installation ahead of its completion. The 7th November has been the culmination of a steady drumbeat of coverage, that built up to a media launch at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park where press were able to speak with Rob and relatives of those who were represented in the shrouds.

During the lead up to the main media event Zest operated a fully functioning press office, dealing with enquiries from both the public and the press. There were also a series of “pre-records” at Rob’s workshop in Somerset which Zest supported.

The results from the media day speak for themselves:

  • 148 pieces of coverage
  • 89bn online readership
  • 14m circulation in printed press
  • 37,247,000 viewers across major new channels
  • Highlights included: The Sun, BBC News, Sky News, Daily Telegraph, New York Times, Washington Post

Zest were on the ground throughout the media launch, lending support with providing additional drone / time-lapse footage to press, facilitating interviews and ensuring the smooth running of an event that involved over thirty journalists, broadcasters and photographers (not to mention a Sky helicopter and a Daily Mail drone!). Coverage ranged from live broadcasts to event listings, to Pictures of the Day and longer pieces in print. Coverage continued to roll in post-media event in the lead up to the Remembrance Service on Sunday 11th November.