JQDT navigates narrative of colonial Birmingham during the Black Lives Matter movement

Digital Glue supported JQDT with messaging to minimise negative press around the reinstatement of the Chamberlain Clock

It was at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement when the Chamberlain Clock was being restored, and with Joseph Chamberlain’s previous role as Colonial Secretary, the communications around the restoration project required light treading. Digital Glue created a communications plan which had honesty and education messaging at the forefront. 


Client Name


  • PR
broadcast media coverage
positive social media responses
integrated communications plan for the JQ BID

What JQBID said...

It’s always such a professional experience working with Digital Glue. 

It was so important that we got the messaging just right with our communications on this project. Even though the restoration of an iconic attraction is a very positive story, the risk of a negative back-lash was incredibly high. Digital Glue understood our problems, came up with a well thought out solution, and as a result, our feedback from the public and media was 100% positive. We will definitely be working with Digital Glue again on future PR projects

Steve Lovell

Communicatoins and Marketing Manager of JQBID


The Chamberlain clock is dedicated to Joseph Chamberlain, an often celebrated figure of modern Birmingham, who was the subject of heavy criticism during the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020 given his role as Colonial Secretary.

We needed to minimise negative press and public reaction around the reinstatement of the Clock after restoration, to increase interest in the city’s heritage and educate people about Chamberlain – the good and the bad.


We didn’t want to gloss over Chamberlain’s historical associations as this conversation is an important one for the nation to be having, so we agreed on a comms plan which included: 

  • Messaging for the press release which would announce the removal of the Clock
  • A pre-written response to use in the event of negative backlash 
  • Advice on managing negative backlash from press and on social media

We created a press release which announced the removal of the Clock in August 2020 and its reinstatement during March 2021.

The communications plan teamed with the Jewellery Quarter Townscape Heritage’s (JQTH) 2 Visions 2 Legacies project demonstrated the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust’s (JQDT) commitment to investigating the significance of Chamberlain’s life and work with the use of balanced narratives.

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