Campaign: Your Business In Cornwall
Client: Cornwall Pure Business
PR team: Bite Communications
Timescale: February 2004-March 2005
To tackle Cornwall's status as a relatively poor area of Europe, Cornwall Pure Business was set up last year by economic development group Cornwall Enterprise. With the help of European funding, the aim was to attract inward investment and promote Cornwall as ideal for business. Bite Communications was hired to help meet the 2008 target of attracting 78 businesses to Cornwall, creating 780 new jobs and boosting the local economy by £23.4m.
To encourage target businesses to relocate to Cornwall. To create new jobs in the region. To lift the local economy.
Strategy and Plan
The campaign targeted companies identified as making a positive economic and environmental impact: SMEs in the creative, new media, biotech, medtech, marine, defence and IT sectors.
The strategy was to position Cornwall as offering an ideal work/life balance. Bite promoted the region's outstanding environment alongside its business advantages, such as a highly skilled workforce, support packages and broadband access.
Analyst The Future Laboratory researched changing work patterns, the pan-European trend for people to move out of cities, and the increasing desire to merge career and lifestyle.
The findings were presented at the launch of Cornwall Pure Business last May at Tate Modern in London. Leaders of successful businesses that had relocated to Cornwall spoke at the event, case studies were produced, and one-to-one interviews arranged.
Wider news angles were presented, such as BT's latest statistics on broadband coverage in Cornwall, and the UK surfing championships. Bank of England governor Eddie George, who has a home in Cornwall, endorsed the campaign.
Other activity included a report on the needs of entrepreneurs, while DM and viral marketing encouraged healthcare firms to enter a competition to win £20,000 and six months' rent of an 'incubation centre' in Cornwall.
Measurement and Evaluation
From the launch event alone, the story featured on 22 broadcast slots, including pieces on BBC Radio 4's Today and a dedicated edition of its ShopTalk programme. The entrepreneurs report resulted in hourly coverage on BBC News 24 on Christmas Day 2004.
Two BBC producers of factual programmes attended the launch, and both are in the process of commissioning features about Cornwall.
Coverage appeared in the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times, and online at Silicon.com and BBC Online. The OTS for all coverage since launch is more than 55 million.
The campaign has led to the successful relocation of 14 businesses, with a further 40 considering the move to Cornwall. More than 200 jobs have been created, and the local economy has been boosted by more than £6m.
Freelance journalist Alex Wade, who wrote a story for The Independent about new media companies in Cornwall, says: 'I saw a piece of marketing material in Cornwall Today about a Soho businessman who had relocated to Cornwall to surf, and I thought it would make a great story. Bite was helpful and professional. I was deluged with information and I can honestly say it was one of the easiest pieces I've ever written.'
Matt Genever is media and PR manager at the East Midlands Development Agency.
Well, at least we know that anyone glued to BBC News 24 on Christmas Day probably saw an item about relocating to Cornwall - though I'm not convinced they would be the best kind of audience.
I agree with the use of research. It is always a safe bet to garner extensive media attention, but it has to be put into context.
A London launch may be glitzy and generate good coverage, but true value lies in getting journalists to Cornwall and having a marathon case study session there.
The coverage does seem impressive - including to the aforementioned News 24 nerds. But I take a reasonably large pinch of salt to OTS figures (with some campaigns claiming to have had a greater audience than the whole of Indo-China).
True evaluation is based on outcomes, and there have been several successes, although 'considering relocation' doesn't mean anything unless those businesses move to Cornwall.
Perhaps more importantly, as the write-up attests, a proactive PR team that answers questions efficiently is worth its weight in gold.
On the whole this was a solid campaign, attracting considerable national coverage and results. It did a good job in promoting Cornwall - although the East Midlands is much better, naturally.