PRWeek Awards 2011: Consumer Marketing Communications (annual fees £100k+)

Shopping channel QVC broadcasts to more than 23 million homes in the UK. But even though more than a quarter of householders shop with the channel, brand perception has been mostly negative, with potential customers saying they were turned off by QVC's 'buy high, sell low' strategy. Although it has undergone an image overhaul in the past five years and more high-end brands are stocked, public perception has remained the same. Mischief PR was brought in to attract new customers and overhaul the channel's image.

Marketing Communications: Consumer (annual fees more than £100k) Award winner: QVC ‘Think You Know QVC? Think again’ with Mischief PR
Marketing Communications: Consumer (annual fees more than £100k) Award winner: QVC ‘Think You Know QVC? Think again’ with Mischief PR

Mischief identified that part of the perception problem was the result of QVC's previous PR strategy, which had focused heavily on placing QVC products into the hands of journalists, but neglected to secure coverage of the brand outside the product pages.

A QVC 'news team' was created to generate monthly stories for print, broadcast, online and social media. Where possible, stories were product-led. For example, one revealed an 800 per cent overnight increase in sales of a Kate Middleton replica ring after the royal engagement announcement.

 

"The campaign tackled perceptions of QVC on multiple fronts, creating new advocates and driving sales."

Richard Kanareck, managing director, London, and senior partner, Fleishman-Hillard

Mischief also extended QVC's media outreach to bloggers and key digital influencers. Online figures such as Lauren Luke – the beauty vlogger with 500,000 YouTube subscribers – were identified and invited to monthly blogging events.

The agency's online retail team also built a 'share' function into each product page on the QVC website to enable people to share their purchases through Facebook and Twitter. A QVC iPhone app, synchronised with the broadcast channel, was developed.

Mischief also identified opportunities for music artists to perform their material, opening it up as a platform for artists to sell records. Charlotte Church, Westlife, Ronan Keating and The Wanted have all appeared in 'QVC Sessions'.

The QVC retail website has since delivered record sales figures.

The Awards 2011 book will be available in this week's issue of PRWeek

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