We helped young people to feel empowered about their online lives

The challenge

The UK Safer Internet Centre (UKSIC) coordinates the UK’s annual Safer Internet Daya global advocacy day encouraging safe and responsible technology use for young people.

Safer Internet Day is a competitive news day and our brief was to inspire a positive national conversation around young people’s internet use, that feels empowering, not patronising.

With daily news stories around the risks that young people face online, we had to carve out an impactful story that acknowledged the risks whilst also moving the conversation on, by highlighting the many positives of being online.

Our approach

Building on our success from last year’s campaign, we wanted to up the stakes and knew the key to increasing our campaign reach was to place young people at the heart of the conversation.

This year, we developed new research exploring the positives and challenges that young people face when sharing content online. The research told a balanced and nuanced story: sharing content helps young people connect with the world and make a positive difference, but a lack of clarity around the ‘rules’ of online consent causes young people confusion. As a result, there is a mismatch between young people’s attitudes to online sharing, and their actions.

Armed with a strong story and stats, we launched a full-scale national, regional, broadcast and online sell in. We drummed up support from a variety of partners, including the BBFC, BBC and key internet service providers to maximise the impact of the day.

Knowing it would be a competitive news day, we secured briefings and with key media in advance, and invited them to UKSIC’s event, to ensure we were best placed to land quality coverage that was on-message.

We leveraged media opportunities following a breaking news story on the day to ensure UKSIC’s research and empowering messaging was part of the conversation.

The results

We secured extensive media coverage on Safer Internet Day, and throughout the week, with a total reach of over 682 million people across 96 print and online outlets. Highlights include Metro, TES and i News.

The UKSIC’s research and spokespeople were featured in broadcast coverage across the day, resulting in 93 mentions of Safer Internet Day, including ITV Wales 6 o’clock news, BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours and BBC World Service.

We also secured an exclusive opportunity for UKSIC’s Digital Leaders, young ambassadors for the scheme, to interview the Department of Health and Social Care’s Chief Medical Officer on BBC 6 o’clock and 10 o’clock news, around the Department’s newly published advice to parents about screen time and managing young people’s use of social media. In total UKSIC’s spokespeople and research were featured in media over 189 times.

Our coverage metrics

OTS 682,797,643
Total pieces 189
Print 8
Online 88
Radio 86
TV 7

Print OTS 622,372
Online OTS 308,639,271
Broadcast OTS 373,536,000
Total OTS 682,797,643


This Safer Internet Day campaign has been incredible. Stand’s hard work and advice helped ensure our research and messages achieved cut through in a competitive news space. We are delighted with the results and the day itself was extraordinary. To have young people at the centre of the conversation is such an important achievement. We loved working with the team and feel very proud of what’s been achieved. We very much look forward to the opportunity to work together again.

Will Gardner

CEO, UK Safer Internet Centre