Media representation for Rhys Jones’ grieving parents

Rhys Jones murdered by Sean Mercer

Rhys Jones’ parents, Melanie and Stephen, appointed Medavia to be their media representatives following a “tidal wave” of press interest when their innocent son was killed in August 2007.

11-year-old Rhys had finished school for the summer holidays and was on his way home from football practice, when tragedy struck.

He was caught in a gun fight between two rival gangs and, in broad daylight, Rhys was struck in the back with a bullet.

Mum Melanie rushed to scene when she heard what had happened – by this time Rhys was unconscious.

Paramedics tried for one and a half hours to resuscitate him but Rhys was later pronounced dead.

At the end of 2010, Sean Mercer was convicted by a jury at Liverpool Crown Court of murdering Rhys, 11, who was hit by crossfire in a gunfight between rival gangs.

The killing sent shockwaves throughout the country and Rhys’ family was inundated with proposals and offers for their story.

Working closely with Melanie and Stephen, the police and the media, Medavia successfully ensured the post trial coverage was accurate and sensitively treated.

Our consultants successfully negotiated agreements for their interview to appear in the Mail On Sunday, The News of the World, an hour-long ITV documentary and in a women’s magazine.

Melanie, Rhys’ mum, said: “From the moment Rhys’ death became public knowledge our home was besieged by journalists.

“Our door was hammered, and thousands of letters started to arrive from well wishers, newspapers, and TV and radio stations from around the world.

“Demands were being made of us from all directions as we tried to grieve.

“We were just a normal family catapulted into this surreal, unbelievable, terrible drama – we didn’t know what to expect. We needed help

“We saw on Medavia’s website that they had worked with families like us before – normal, everyday people who had been forced to deal with tragic, unimaginable events under the glare of the media spotlight.

“From that point, Medavia made contact with every media outlet which had attempted to contact us to let them know that all enquiries were now to come through them and that, importantly, they weren’t to bother us.

“It was so comforting to know everything was being handled for us. It allowed us to focus on the forthcoming trial and to plough all our energy into supporting each other.

“The team Medavia were always on hand, at court if we needed them, or just a phone call away, morning and night, weekdays and weekends.

“Although the media attention has now died down, it is such a relief to know Medavia are always going to be on hand.”

To discuss your media support needs, contact Medavia in confidence on 0117 9733730. Our Five Step Guide to Managing Your Media contains impartial and practical advice too.

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