01 November 2012
Chelsey Palmer, PR Assistant

My inaugural PR project which delivered some fantastic results

cup of coffee

Getting ready for my first media campaign at Westgate was a nerve-racking but exciting prospect. However, it was also a great chance for me to put the knowledge and skills I had gained at university and during my time at Westgate, into real practice. The campaign in question was a profile-raising brief from an organisation called Lincoln & York, which is one of the UK’s leading coffee roasting companies.

The focus of the campaign was to announce the results of Lincoln & York’s inaugural Coffee Shop of the Year Award - a nationwide competition to find the best cup of coffee served in an independent coffee shop across the UK. An immediate challenge we identified was making sure we could ‘stand out’ when talking to the media, as the coffee industry is heavily saturated with large coffee chains known to dominate media coverage.

The Watermark Café in Scarborough was the overall winner, while Henri in Stockbridge Edinburgh, Fresh Food Deli, Pocklington and The Coffee Hub in Manchester were all runners-up.

Taking into consideration the different audiences that we needed to target, we prepared four different press releases. To make sure each release was as newsworthy as possible, we set-up briefing interviews with the four finalists. The press releases also included information about the prestigious awards and Lincoln & York as an organisation.

We carefully compiled media lists to ensure a targeted approach and industry contacts were specifically chosen to secure a high volume of coverage in both the regional and trade media. The press releases were then sent out and this was followed by a comprehensive follow-up phase where we arranged numerous interviews and photo opportunities for journalists to visit the individual coffee shops. We weren’t able to speak to some of the journalists the first time we called, so it was a case of trying until we got through and could tick them off our list!

Excitingly, we secured coverage in a number of well-regarded industry trade titles such as; Specialty Food, both in print and online, Essential Café and Retail Times. We also achieved coverage in a wide range of regional media including: Manchester Evening News, Yorkshire Post and The Scarborough News, each media outlet covering the business relevant to their area. The pieces were very positive towards the cafés in the individual regions, whilst highlighting the prestigious award from Lincoln & York.

The whole experience was a real eye-opener for me and it helped me to gain a true understanding of how we can take a piece of news from a client and, through hard work and determination, deliver fantastic editorial results.


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