Throughout my long career in the PR consultancy sector, I’ve always been an advocate of agencies shooting for the stars, writes Steve Dann.
Above all else, PR consultants should be adding value to their clients’ sales and marketing activities through inspirational thinking which provides real stand-out for the company or brand.
Of course, we often operate in a world which is shackled by constraints, be it budget considerations, resource issues or the need to adhere to those all-important brand guidelines. What’s more, clients who buy into an agency’s creative ideas, will demand reassurances that the campaign will still meet the agreed KPIs or provide the required level of ROI. (Unsurprisingly, both these acronyms were unheard of when I started out in the PR industry)
Creativity should be in the DNA of all campaign planning, but it’s fair to say that some client briefs present better opportunities for the juices to flow than others.
The 90th anniversary of FSC’s client Wrights Food Group, is a case in point. From humble beginnings, which began with this family owned business providing wholesome meat and gravy pies to the impoverished people of Stoke-on Trent, Wrights has grown to become one of the UK’s leading food manufacturing businesses, providing savouries, desserts and ready meals to an impressive customer list covering High Street retailers and major restaurant chains
When presented with a brief to maximise the opportunity, our response to CEO Peter Wright was simple: Her Majesty the Queen is 90, so let’s try and organise a commemorative Royal visit to mark the company’s special 90th anniversary. And just for good measure, why don’t we look to maximise your sponsorship of Eddie Hall, a beast of a man who just happens to be one of the strongest human beings ever to have graced this planet.
After several months of microscopic planning (not to mention zillions of emails!) FSC arranged for HRH, The Princess Royal to officially open Wrights’ new £40m confectionery factory in Crewe. During the visit, Princess Anne toured the company’s state-of the art manufacturing facilities, learnt about the company’s fabulous heritage and met with long serving staff members and guests, including brand ambassador Eddie Hall of course.
It was a fitting climax to a year of activities which also saw Wrights host a family fun day for employees at Uttoxeter Race Course, giveaway special anniversary food hampers to worthy local community groups and grant staff an extra celebratory day’s holiday.
As for Eddie Hall, we sought to maximise the sponsorship during British Pie Week by putting his name to the Strongman Pie which was sold exclusively in Wrights shops across the Potteries.
The campaign was an amazing success in terms of galvanising employees and generating widespread coverage across regional press, broadcast and trade media. What’s more it enabled an under-stated family-owned business to enjoy an anniversary year which will live long in its history.
And it all started with a big idea involving a Princess and a Beast!
Steve Dann is one of the founding directors of Fleet Street Communications