Press release in response to Dr Ken Smith – August 2008

Vikki received a call from The Times to alert her to an article that was being published the following day in the THES. The article in question was written by Dr Ken Smith. Vikki contacted the THES and asked the editorial team to read her the article. After taking notes, she spoke to Jack and they compiled a response to Dr Smith’s article, which they then sent out to 600 radio and television contacts, timed to land on producers and bookers desks the morning the THES was published. Most radio stations and TV news gathering services only take the broadsheets and tabloids and do not take the education supplements . The press release was also sent to the Press Association and released to all print outlets. The resulting publicity to his ‘little article’ took Dr Smith by surprise, but achieved a great deal of positive PR for the Society, along with awareness of the aims.


1. The Times: 7th August 2008
August 7, 2008
Alexandra Frean, Education editor
‘I’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’. Or maybe not
Time to give up on spelling, says academic’

2. The Telegraph 7th August 2008
Graeme Paton, Education editor
‘University students cannot spell’

3. The Daily Mail
By Laura Clark
Last updated at 9:36 AM on 07th August 2008
‘The spell is broken: Lecturer calls for spelling amnesty on students' top 20 errors’

4.Guardian: Mortarboard 7th August 2008
By Anthea Lipsett
Does Student Spelling matter?

5. The Press Association 7th August 2008
‘Misspelt words should be accepted’

6. Buckingham Free Press 7th August 2008
‘Lecturer: overlook common spelling mistakes’
By Oliver Evans
7. Glasgow Daily Record 8th August 2008
Alison Kershaw
‘Common misspellings should become part of language, says professor’

8. Daily Squib (Satire) 9th August 2008
‘Renowned Chav Professor Advocates Use of SMS Text Language and Spelling Errors’
9. Time Magazine :11th August 2008

Ten and counting.


1. Newsround BBC Children’s Television Thursday 7th August 2008: Jack Bovill
2. BBC News Channel: August 7th 2008 – Jack Bovill
3. BBC News Channel August 9th – Jack Bovill: two slots at 7:50am and 8:50 am

7th August
1. BBC Worldservice: 7th August 2008: Jack Bovill
2. Radio Five Live Simon Mayo Show (2 million listeners) 7th August: Jack Bovill
3. BBC Wales: (1.2 million listeners) 7th August: Vikki Rimmer
4. BBC Radio Sheffield: Jack Bovill
5. BBC Tees: Jack Bovill
6. Siren FM (twice) Jack Bovill
7. BBC Jersey: Vikki Rimmer
8. Mercury FM: Vikki Rimmer
9. BBC Northants: Jack Bovill
10. BBC 3 Counties: Jack Bovill
11. BBC Newcastle: Jack Bovill
8th August
12. BBC Birmingham (Janice Long show) Jack Bovill 9th August
13. BBC Radio Kent: Jack Bovill
9th August
14. Jack FM (Oxford) Jack Bovill
11th August
15. Good Morning Ulster: Jack Bovill
16. Liverpool City Talk: Jack Bovill
17. Dublin 202 – Jack Bovill
Articles that mention Ken Smith but not the Spelling Society: Daily Mirror/ Daily Express 8th August 2008
Sky News on line, BBC News on line, Reuters.

Centenary Dinner PR – Beginning of Sept 2008A press release drafted by Professor Wells, sent out by Vikki on the 8th September to over 1,000 recipients in the media, along with MP’s and MEP’s indicating an interest in the subject of ‘education’.

The response (in terms of numbers) was similar to the press garnered the preceding month when we sent out a press release to coincide with the publication of Dr Ken Smith’s THES article. However, the response was not as supportive, nor as understanding as the two previous campaigns which seemed to generate a spirit of understanding with regards to the Society’s aims. This pres release did, in some ways, generate confusion as to the aims of the Society.

Radio & ~TV line-up: for 9th September
BBC Breakfast TV – 7:15
BBC World Service 08.25 The World Today (done)
BBC World Service 10.40 World Update (done)
BFBS radio 15.40
BBC R Berks 16.10
BBC R5 17.25
BBC R London 17.50
Sky News TV 19.20
BBC R Wales 07.15

Press Cuttings:
The Guardian
Press Association
The Times
The Telegraph
Daly Mail
Teletext UK

The Independent (24th Sept)

Financial Times 27th Sept:

Plymouth Evening Herald (17th Sept)
South Manchester Reporter (18th Sept)
Calcutta Telegraph (30th Sept)

The Lawyer (2nd Oct )