Tibetan climate protest in Glasgow, 2021

Invitation to tender for Free Tibet media relations

Free Tibet is inviting tenders from small agencies and freelancers to manage some of its media relations.

We are Free Tibet, and we stand with Tibetans around the world.

For their homeland, for their future and against China’s brutal occupation. Free Tibet started in 1987 and is a non-profit organisation, independent of all governments (including the Central Tibetan Administration) – funded entirely by our global network of supporters.

We keep the eyes of the world on the atrocities being committed in Tibet. We share evidence that makes them impossible to deny. We lead campaigns that make them impossible to ignore. And together, we will build a global movement that’s impossible to resist. Tibet can be free. It must be free – and one day it will be.


Free Tibet is a small campaigning organisation that has a history of punching above its weight in bringing attention to the Chinese government’s oppression of the Tibetan people. We use earned media coverage of our campaigns and reports to spread the word of what is happening in Tibet and to encourage our target audiences – young people, seasoned Tibetophiles, Tibet support groups and decision makers – both in the UK and around the world, to support our work. 

Free Tibet is the eminent voice for Tibet in the UK and has a significant presence abroad. However, since a peak in the 1990s, Tibet has dropped out of the public consciousness as an issue and our challenge is to secure meaningful coverage when there are so many other stories of oppression around the world, and even being perpetrated by the Chinese government, to compete with. The challenge is furthered by a vicious circle whereby China’s suppression of information flowing out of Tibet makes it harder to generate news about Tibet, moving focus away from Tibet, and making it easier for the Chinese government to further its oppression.


Despite this near impossible challenge, our sister research organisation Tibet Watch and its team of researchers still manage to get information from Tibet to the rest of the world by producing short news reports about the current situation, usually from brave Tibetans  risking their lives to anonymously send information out of Tibet or translated news reports. This vital news about the urgent situation in Tibet is then shared by Tibet Watch (and Free Tibet) with the occasional story reaching international media. 

However, it is essential that the plight of Tibetans receives more coverage by UK and international media to make an impact and raise awareness. The risk for Tibetans (along with Hong Kongers and Uyghurs), their culture, religion and language has never been greater.  

Thanks to Tibet Watch’s research and researchers, Free Tibet is able to carry out regular campaign actions ranging from small protests that bring Tibet-support groups together to direct action, for example our Where Is Peng Shuai? action at Wimbledon which generated international news coverage. Tibet Watch also translates research findings into annual reports, which can be found here.

What we need

We have the ability to carry out day to day press office functions in-house, although we do not have any dedicated or expert public/media relations function. Sharing details of regular stories from Tibet Watch, answering incoming enquiries, writing press releases and comments, arranging interviews and briefing spokespeople are all carried out in-house.

We urgently need support broadening the media reach of our campaigns. This will include helping to develop media strategies for whole campaigns, and individual actions and reports. This will take place on an ad-hoc basis and largely led by Free Tibet’s plans, although we will always be interested in forward-thinking ideas that will help us to increase the reach of our campaigns, including taking advantage of timely issues and seizing new opportunities. 

We work primarily with foreign correspondents covering China and would like an agency/consultant to have existing contacts in this area and help us to build our own relationships with relevant journalists and producers. 

We expect the appointed agency/consultant to work on around three projects per year and each project will be contracted individually. Alternatively, we are happy to discuss arrangements based on a certain number of days work per year. 

We do not currently have a set budget for this work but like all small campaign groups our funds are very limited and we are looking for support that can deliver exceptional results with limited resources.

The process

Any interested individuals/agencies should send us an initial expression of interest including the following:

  • One page covering your or your agency’s relevant experience and accomplishments
  • One page outlining your suggested approach incorporating:
    • What opportunities you see for generating media coverage of Free Tibet
    • How you would approach the role
    • Your fee structure including whether you would charge a day or project rate

We can provide a copy of the Free Tibet brand and language guidelines on request.

This initial expression of interest should be sent to [email protected] by no later than 5pm on Friday 2 December. 

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to pitch to a panel of Free Tibet representatives, presenting their overall approach and their approach to a specific brief. The presentations will take place in the week of 12 December.

We are Free Tibet, and we stand with Tibetans around the world. For their homeland, for their future and against China’s brutal occupation.