CAMPAIGNS: Product Launch - Frank enlists Straw's help for Amstrad

Client: Amstrad

Client: Amstrad

PR Team: Frank PR

Campaign: Amstrad e-m@iler

Timescale: January - February

Budget: Undisclosed

The Amstrad e-m@iler is a digital phone answering machine that allows users to send and receive e-mails and send SMS text messages and faxes.

Frank PR, as part of its 'Getting Britain e-mailing' campaign for the e-m@iler, decided that the Neighbourhood Watch and the Police were appropriate groups to highlight its benefits as a communication tool.


To promote this specific crime-fighting application of the e-m@iler and how it is an easy and effective way to e-mail. To create demand for the product.

Strategy and Plan

The concept of putting e-m@ilers into Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators' homes to communicate with the Police in a bid to prevent and detect crime was devised.

Amstrad linked up with Lancashire Police to run a pilot scheme - given the title 'E-m@iler Watch' - in Blackburn. It donated 62 em@ilers to Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators in Blackburn, enabling information to be relayed between them and the police. Home Secretary Jack Straw - the Blackburn South MP - was invited to attend the press conference.

Frank PR also produced a video news release with interviews with all parties involved and edited highlights of the press conference. Spokespeople, including Straw, were made available for radio interviews.

Measurement and Evaluation

The press conference received broadcast coverage throughout the day on national TV and radio news, as well as positive and full write-ups across a spectrum of national press.


Lancashire Police has confirmed that it intends to roll the programme out to more than 500 homes by May. Three further police districts have confirmed interest in scheme.

Jack Straw publicly praised the scheme, highlighting its benefits in fighting crime.

It is yet to be seen if attention given to the police and Neighbourhood Watch link-up will boost consumer sales.

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