CAMPAIGNS: Luring IT Poms to the land of Oz - Public Awareness

Economic growth in South Australia and its capital Adelaide has led to a skills shortage, particularly in IT and engineering. The State Government of South Australia launched an incentive package - including a low repayment loan of pounds 2,500 and low-cost accommodation for three months - to encourage 8,000 immigrants to the state by the year 2000.

Economic growth in South Australia and its capital Adelaide has led

to a skills shortage, particularly in IT and engineering. The State

Government of South Australia launched an incentive package - including

a low repayment loan of pounds 2,500 and low-cost accommodation for

three months - to encourage 8,000 immigrants to the state by the year

2000.



With the UK a prime target because of its internationally-recognised job

skills and common language, Peter Prowse Associates was hired to mount a

PR campaign to generate enquiries from qualified Brits interested in

emigrating.



Objective



To encourage emigration to Adelaide, highlighting the quality of life

and opportunities for skilled IT professionals and engineers. A target

of 1,200 enquiries was set.



Tactics



The South Australian Government’s London team took a stand at the Jobs

Abroad Exhibition at Olympia, opening on 7 March, using it as a focal

point to invite the media to talk to Government officials. PPA account

director Eric White was not confident this was a big enough draw and

sold in the story as an advance exclusive to the Daily Mail, timed to

coincide with the opening of the exhibition.



Angles were developed for the national, regional (targeting areas with

suitable workers) and trade (targeting computer and engineering titles)

media. The Market Tiers was briefed to set up radio interviews with

Geoff Walls, the South Australian Government’s agent general, on major

regional stations in industrial areas.



When John Major announced the General Election date it gave a new angle

for the campaign. There was a surge in enquiries about emigrating to

Adelaide - although whether this was due to people being prompted by the

upcoming election or media coverage is not known. White used the Press

Association to put out two stories, one on 7 April and the other in the

last week of the election campaign, about the high level of enquiries

from Britons interested in emigrating to South Australia.



PPA liaised with the South Australian Government in Australia, and a

release was put out by the Premier of South Australia, John Olsen,

saying how delighted he was with the level of enquiries from British

workers.



Results



Thanks to the Daily Mail piece, ’Cash perks lure Poms to paradise’, Sky

News and London News Direct attended the exhibition and broadcast

interviews with Geoff Walls. There were also interviews with Radio 5

Live and 12 regional radio stations.



White admits he was a little disappointed with regional press coverage

but says it was difficult to find a local angle. Trade coverage included

Computing, Computer Weekly and Machinery Market.



The stories put out by PA led to coverage in the Express, Daily Mail,

Daily Star, Financial Times and ES Magazine. There were also interviews

on London News Direct, BBC Business Breakfast, GMTV and BBC Radio

Scotland.



From March to mid-May the South Australian Government’s London office

received around 6,000 requests for information about emigrating to

Adelaide, ten times the total number for the previous year.



Verdict



This campaign shows the value of having good contacts. Using the Daily

Mail and PA to generate interest from the public and media paid off. The

extra mileage given by the election was fortuitous, but was well

exploited.



The aim was to generate enquiries and this was achieved, with five times

the target number. What needs to be determined now is the quality of

enquiries.



Client: State Government of South Australia

PR Team: Peter Prowse Associates

Campaign: Immigration South Australia

Timescale: March - May 1997

Cost: pounds 7,000



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