Pret trumpets Norwich store to local media - Consumer

Campaign: Norwich store opening Client: Pret a Manger PR team: Foxmurphy Timescale: May-June 2005 Budget: £5,000

In early summer last year, Pret a Manger appointed marcoms agency Foxmurphy for the opening of its biggest high-street store to date, in Norwich.

OBJECTIVES

To raise public awareness of the opening of the Norwich store and promote a trial offer. To highlight that Pret gives away its unsold food to homelessness charities.

STRATEGY AND PLAN

The Foxmurphy team spent a day selling sandwiches, buns and coffee at a London Pret to gain a feel for the company. It then identified local journalists in Norwich for the sending of tailored press releases.

As Pret's customer base is predominantly white-collar workers, the PR team offered Eastern Daily Press assistant business editor Ian Bullock the opportunity of an exclusive interview with Pret founder Julian Metcalfe.

In addition, the team arranged for EDP feature writer Jon Welch to experience a day working at a Pret.

On the back of this involvement with the regional newspaper, Foxmurphy negotiated a 'free coffee' offer, which appeared in the paper on the weekend before the Norwich store's opening.

The news hook of 'local coffee wars' was used to target other Norwich-based media, with press releases delivered alongside consignments of Pret-prepared food.

This activity was supported by street theatre in various Norwich locations, while cyclists rode around the town wearing advertising boards.

MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION

Involvement with the EDP journalists resulted in two double-page spreads in the week of the new store's opening. Norwich Evening News also ran a story about the opening, while the BBC's Look East focused its attention on the Norwich Pret's threat to local coffee and sandwich vendors.

Radio Broadland and BBC Radio Norfolk thanked Pret for their food platters on-air, flagging up the opening date for the new store.

RESULTS

Pret would not divulge its exact sales figures, but described the Norwich launch as its 'best opening day of business ever', with subsequent weeks beating its targets.

Bullock says that without the 'time and trouble' taken by the PR team he doubts that his interview with Metcalfe would have taken place.

He adds: 'Foxmurphy pulled out all the stops to ensure that the Norwich Pret store had an amazingly high-profile launch.'

Following the success of the campaign, Pret A Manger appointed Foxmurphy as its retained national brand consultant.

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