CIPR PRide Awards 2011: Midlands - Grayling cooks up a storm

Canned Food UK campaign helps Grayling Midlands to claim Best Event award.

BEST EVENT

Grayling Midlands for Canned Food UK and the Women's Institute: Cookery Day with James Martin and Amanda Hamilton

Trade association Canned Food UK asked Grayling Midlands to help it make the best use of its ambassadors, celebrity chef James Martin and nutritionist Amanda Hamilton. The agency decided to organise a cooking event targeting Women's Institute members due to their influence in their local communities. The event took place in Oxfordshire and involved demonstrations from Martin and Hamilton. All 120 places were taken and the WI reported back to the agency that demand far outstripped the limited places available. Each attendee received a goody bag and was encouraged to stage similar demonstrations in their local areas. Grayling reports that about 50 WI presentations took place.

OUTSTANDING IN-HOUSE TEAM

Balfour Beatty Major Civil Engineering

Roadworks are among motorists' biggest grumbles, especially when taking place on an important trunk road such as the A46, which connects the East and West Midlands. To ensure the public understood the reasons behind the three-year period of improvements, the construction firm involved, Balfour Beatty, appointed a dedicated in-house A46 public liaison team. Work included staging exhibitions and manning a freephone helpline. To date, the team has received 1,083 compliments from the public, compared with just 272 complaints. One eye-catching event was to invite the public to watch the installation of a railway bridge during Christmas 2010. More than 700 people turned up on Christmas Day and Boxing Day despite sub-zero temperatures.

BEST CONSUMER RELATIONS CAMPAIGN

Made of Meaner Stuff by Golley Slater PR/Skoda

Skoda was looking to expand its customer base for the launch of its Fabia vRS range. Golley Slater decided to focus on the brand's reputation for reliability and position the new car as being for those who want a reliable car but have a slightly mischievous edge. Digital media use was key to the campaign, with work including a Facebook game identifying the meanest and loveliest people in Britain. Sales increased by 500 per cent during the three months following the campaign's launch.

OUTSTANDING CONSULTANCY

Willougby PR

Willoughby PR's 'Operation Six D' strategy successfully helped the agency diversify and develop the business, as well as retain staff and clients. Between March 2010 and March 2011 turnover increased from £1.39m to £1.57m and the average staff length of service rose from 3.6 years to 4.9 years. Adding design and expanding its digital services were crucial to this success, with its digital PR client roster including And So To Bed, Bosch Rexroth, Karndean and Miller Homes. Digital work now accounts for ten per cent of its income. Another factor was the hiring of a client services director in 2010 and a customer care initiative, which involved calling each client twice a month for feedback on the agency's performance. This helped the agency ensure that a third of its clients have been with the agency for more than five years and three clients have stayed for more than a decade.

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