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Posts from April 2011

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Royal Wedding fever hits Refresh PR



Ok, I’ll admit it: I’ve caught the Royal Wedding bug. Big time.

I honestly didn’t think I’d get swept along in the national excitement in the lead up to the big day, but whether it’s because we get an extra holiday, because Kate Middleton is a becoming the epitome of a style icon before our eyes, or because all the Royal Wedding merchandise flooding the high street and online stores is so wonderfully kitsch, I can’t seem to get enough of it.

 

I also have a lot to thank the Royal Wedding for; Refresh PR’s clients are thriving as a result of the event that’s captured hearts the world over. Online retailer www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk has seen sales soar as people prepare for post-War style street parties with streams of bunting, flags, commemorative kitchen and homewares, and even some rather fetching Kate and Wills masks (modelled here by my good self and the lovely Laura):

 

The national papers have really got into the swing of things, adorning their pages with fabulously patriotic merchandise. www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk’s Royal Family Celebrity Masks have gone down particularly well with journalists at Grazia, the Daily Mirror and The Sun, and we’re hoping the This Morning sofa will soon be sporting a Union Jack cushion. And with The Royal Collection launching a Royal Wedding app – “the only app one needs” apparently – even our phones aren’t safe from infectious Royal Wedding excitement.

Another of Refresh PR’s clients, Photolink Creative Group, has also been able to make the most of the ever-burgeoning popularity of our future princess, producing video tutorials for its high fashion hair salon client, Regis, on how to get Kate Middleton hair. And what self-respecting young lady wouldn’t want Kate Middleton hair?

http://www.haveagreathairday.co.uk/2011/04/kate-middleton-hair-royal-wedding/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUcoWpkcXJE&feature=player_embedded

So, how will you be spending the day on 29th April? Are you avoiding the Royal Wedding at all costs, or street partying with the best of them? From a PR point of view, the Refresh PR team is really looking forward to the BBC’s clever take on covering the ceremony – they’re going to be filming at Grazia’s offices to capture the live reaction of a newsroom and its journalists as the day unfolds. I for one can’t wait!

Tagged with: bunting, Celebrity, Daily Mirror, Facebook, Gifts, Grazia, Kate Middleton, merchandise, patriotic, PR, Prince William, Royal Wedding, The Sun

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CIM event review: Creating one of Manchester’s greatest assets



Refresh PR went along to Manchester Airport’s Concorde Conference Centre recently for a very insightful Chartered Institute of Marketing networking event.  Situated just next to the runway, and housing a Concorde (pic to follow we hope!), the facility was a great venue to hold a conference – if you don’t mind the sound of planes taking off and landing every few minutes of course.

 

So, to start off, here are a few facts that you may not know:

·         19,000 people are employed at Manchester Airport

·         There’s 3,000m of runway serving the three terminals

·         The airport typically targets people in a 90 minute travel time radius with its marketing

·         There’s a brand new Escape Lounge in Terminal 1 (which we like the sound of a lot)

·         There are still opportunities for more carriers to fly from Manchester airport – even now it has capacity

 

After networking and lots of food, we sat down to listen to some of the marketing plans, strategy and tactics employed by one of Britain’s best airports.  What quickly became obvious is the massive marketing machine that sits behind its public face.   The airport certainly has a well thought out, and continually evolving, marketing strategy that considers every aspect of the customer experience.  So, whether it’s subtle lighting to subconsciously guide a traveller around the terminal (and into the shops) or the amount of research and feedback being constantly processed, everything revolves around making the customer centre stage, and ultimately making sure numbers come through the door. 

 

Understanding that the most visited page on its website is the flight tracking page, the airport has developed an iPhone app for people to check flights on the move.  Car park booking is now a lot easier over handhelds too – and as a major revenue generator for airports around the country it’s certainly worth the investment.  The car parks have been made much more visitor friendly, with green traffic lights above a space to indicate that it’s free, meaning those in a rush can easily see where the free spaces are – whilst trying to stick to the car park speed limit of course...

 

Twitter, which began as a discount/promotions newsfeed, became a major news source for customers and journalists during the ash cloud in April ’10.  Again, during the snow for the past two winters, the @manairport feed has been a way to communicate with travellers and those seeking the most up to date information.  It’s got nearly 17,000 followers and Sky News journalists are big fans.

 

While embracing social media has been a priority, it’s also great to see the airport sticking to tried and tested methods of marketing.  Local door drops to inform residents of changes and promotions are measured for success through visits to specific URLs, redemption of specific discount codes and the general uptake following an e-shot is tracked.  In addition, the team works in the Wythenshawe community (near to the airport) to support local initiatives to ensure the airport gives back to the community.

 

It was also interesting to hear about a new CRM package being implemented which means that when travelling through the airport, all passengers will soon be tracked and data on each visit recorded.  Those flying regularly will develop patterns of behaviour which will be highlighted on the system, from using the car park to purchases made inside the terminal, opening the door for specific discounts and more targeted campaigns.  Well, I’m hoping for the specific discounts anyway – must remember to hand over my boarding card when I buy a G&T! 

 

All in all, this was one of the best CIM events of the year so far – informative, interesting, well attended and useful for marketers to know what’s happening on their own doorstep.  More please!

Tagged with: Built Environment, Construction, Leisure, Manchester, Manchester Airport, Marketing, North West , PR, Retail