Friday 7 January 2011

Connect PR back on the blog

With the mistletoe in the bin and wine in the tummy, most of you will have good reason for feeling like a weathered piece of tinsel right now – even if you do have a Cliff Richard calendar to remember the festive period by.

But fear not...The Connect PR weekly blog is back!

Suitably refreshed from a glass of red grape Shloer, we are in fine fettle to give you the latest news and views from one of the Midland’s finest, award winning PR agencies.

However, with more success stories to our name than that Andrew Strauss on an Aussie bashing trip Down Under, we thought we’d take time to reflect on some notable scalps of our own in 2010.

If you’ve indulged as much as we have over the past couple of weeks, we hope you can do so again one more time, as we look back at some of our 2010 highlights.

The year marked the advent of first online scout badge in partnership with our world famous client WD-40. The multi-purpose lubricant sprayed itself a name with the young and hungry generation, rewarding impressionable youngsters with a unique DIY badge for their handiwork.

The spray has been a favourite amongst many for its squeaky door silencing properties, but it’s unlikely Higgs & Sons will need a can any time soon.

The leading Midlands law firm moved into some of the plushest, modern offices imaginable and we were delighted to generate some memorable headlines over the move – even if there wasn’t a single squeaky door to be heard!

Staying on the theme of quiet efficiency, it is worth mentioning our work with Baxi in 2010, whose boilers always generate their own column inches when we work alongside the group.

A back boiler radio campaign raised £100,000 worth of estimated advertising value (EAV) before more seeds were sown for similar results in the coming weeks after we teamed up with Olympic gold medallist Nicole Cooke to promote the revolutionary Ecogen boiler.

If we had the front pages of most publications covered with work like this, then the back pages were similarly monopolised too, courtesy of our work with the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Our proactive work with the much loved football competition climaxed in unprecedented scenes at Wembley Stadium in March, when Southampton beat Carlisle 4-1 in front of 73,000 fans.

Leveraging a sponsorship like this has always been a pleasure and 2010 was no different courtesy of a host of community projects and initiatives in the run up – and during – the final.

If Southampton were positively motoring away with success last year, so too were HiQ – the fast fit network ‘to be sure of.’

Not only did the network surpass the 150 centre mark during the year, but it edged closer to its £100,000 fundraising target for Breast Cancer Care, while culminating its Local Hero campaign, hosted by Sally Gunnell OBE.

The PR figures for both projects were marginally less impressive than Sally’s efforts in Barcelona back in 1992 and helped generate HiQ’s best ever year for PR results.

Also in the PR fast lane were Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, who benefited from a great relationship with us in 2010, shattering the £1 million EAV coverage mark that was set at the start of the year.

We always like a cheeky pun or two to start a good press release off on the right note, so imagine our joy when we were asked to promote the Go Fishing Show?!

Hot fish and chips, wrapped in said press release, were delivered to 20 journalists in the run-up to the event, and it is safe to say we caught them hook, line and sinker as they promoted the event like never before.

Working with Uni-ball – the UK’s leading pen manufacturer – also helps when you’re trying to pen a few memorable headlines.

We helped organise an art exhibition at the Tate Modern after working with NME Music Festivals in signing tents during the summer.

Not content with resting on our flip-flops and beanie hats, we then helped to promote the brand’s Office Exhibition in Earl’s Court, which has gone down as a spectacle to remember.

Meanwhile, not a million miles from London’s top exhibition venue, we were achieving a Mother Nature-defying feat of ingenuity, by creating a beach in the middle of one of London’s busiest train stations.

As part of our work with Wrexham & Shropshire Trains we decided to bring a huge beach to Marylebone Station, in an attempt to educate commuters about the tangible distance the coast is from their everyday rat-race journeys.

The stunt worked well, with the London Standard sending their own photographer for some fun in the sand!

Finally, we commissioned an office straw poll of our own for the best TV show of the year.

Funnily enough, Strictly Come Dancing was on the tip of everyone’s tongues, which is a coincidence, seeing as we worked with dancer Karen Hardy for a Goodyear EfficientGrip free fuel promotion and Camilla Dallerup for a new railway dance in Telford Shopping Centre for Wrexham and Shropshire Trains.

A number of us also enjoyed a spot of X-Factor indulgence too, so here’s hoping we hit the high notes again in 2011, with or without a celebrity appearance from Simon Cowell and Matt Cardle!

Here’s to a wonderful 2011 everyone (and a nice weekend!)
Connect PR

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