Friday, 4 September 2009

Shortlisted for Outstanding Small PR Consultancy 2009 (the second year in a row)

We're delighted to have been shortlisted for the Outstanding Small Consultancy of the Year Award again this year in the Chartered Institute of Public Relations PRIDE Awards. We won the award last year in what was our first year of trading.

The news follows a notable success for us last week with the launch of a new version of "Make Do and Mend" for John Lewis. All 28,000 John Lewis Partners collaborated on the creation of an entirely new version of the famous wartime publication, updated to reflect the needs of 21st century homes. The launch attracted extensive media coverage, including BBC Breakfast, BBC News Channel, the Today Programme, The Daily Mail, Evening Standard, Daily Telegraph and Daily Express as well as massive amount of online coverage. We have thoroughly enjoyed working on the project with the John Lewis team.

Here are some other highlights from the year:

1. Creating the Reevoo Customer Choice Awards publishes authentic customer reviews on the web. We proposed a national awards concept based (uniquely) on feedback from genuine owners of products.

We led the announcement on news that a £16.49 Tesco hi-fi had won the customer choice award in the audio category, beating competition from rival products costing several hundred pounds.

This attracted widespread coverage, including page leads in most tabloids and an appearance on BBC Breakfast for Reevoo’s CEO. We followed up with sector-specific announcements and placed an exclusive in News of the World.

The results:
More than 40 million opportunities to see/hear.
Page leads in the Sun, Mirror, Daily Mail and News of the World.
Hundreds of online reports.
Manufacturer announcements generating more coverage.
The Tesco hi-fi sold out immediately, with further stocks on order.

2. Campaigning to reclaim and rename the Hot Cross Bun

For St Albans Cathedral we took on an assignment:

To raise the profile of the Cathedral among tourists
To identify a commercial opportunity for the Cathedral

We discovered that the Cathedral was the source of the modern Hot Cross Bun. The original “Alban Bun” was baked and offered to the poor by Father Thomas Rockliffe, a monk, in 1361. We advised the cathedral to run a campaign to reclaim and rename the Hot Cross Bun. We negotiated a partnership with Sainsbury's to bake the buns for the Cathedral, which would keep the proceeds.

The campaign was covered by the Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, BBC radio stations, ITV lunchtime news, London Tonight, in regional press and online.

The buns sold out within hours. The Cathedral saw a flood of visitors and both parties are negotiating an agreement on national sales of the bun in 2010.

3. Scoring a PR goal for Screwfix with a tongue-in-cheek lookalike competition

Screwfix sponsor the Masters Football tournament on Sky Sports. Screwfix customers are tradesmen. Our task was to engage them with the sponsorship of the tournament.

We launched a tongue-in-cheek search for tradesmen who look like famous footballers to play in a charity football match at the National Masters Final. We announced the search with photos of early entrants alongside actual footballers for comparison. We filmed the match, along with pre and post-match interviews and uploaded the video to YouTube.

Highlights included full-page coverage in the Metro and the Daily Star and a half-page in the Daily Sport, all strong tradesmen’s papers, and 15 regional radio interviews. Hits to the Screwfix website soared and the story generated a huge volume of entries.

The story generated more than £150,000 of publicity, a return on investment of around 25:1.

Outstanding achievements

There are two areas in particular in which we have exceeded expectations:

1. Attracting a disproportionately large number of national, market leading clients for an agency our size.

2. Generating high impact media coverage. Nine in ten announcements this year achieved national press coverage, up from 8 in ten last year, and 1 in 2 were page leads, up from just over 3 in ten last year. One quarter of announcement received national broadcast coverage.

All in all, it has been a great year, despite the challenging economic environment and we're more confident than ever that our approach is the right one to build on our successes to date.

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