It's all change in London's Cheapside

Land securities asked Blue Rubicon to run a six-month PR campaign to launch One New Change, the City of London's new retail development situated on Cheapside near St Paul's Cathedral.

Sir Stuart Rose: Cutting tape
Sir Stuart Rose: Cutting tape

Campaign: The launch of One New Change
Client: Land Securities
PR team: Blue Rubicon
Timescale: June-December 2010
Budget: £100,000


- To increase footfall and customer spend by raising awareness of One New Change

- To mitigate any issues by liaising closely with local stakeholders

- To highlight the historical and economic context of One New Change's arrival and the regeneration of Cheapside

- To reach an international audience, billing One New Change as a destination venue with views of St Paul's Cathedral.

Strategy and plan

Blue Rubicon developed a staggered launch strategy to promote a series of significant milestones and picture opportunities during a three-week period.

Key events included the arrival of 60 retail outlets and restaurants in October and the launch of the roof terrace with views of St Paul's Cathedral. The theme of 'old London meets new' was created and put in all media materials.

Prior to launch, the PR team ran one-to-one briefings onsite with stakeholders to help bring advocates on board. It also began raising public awareness by creating official One New Change Facebook and Twitter accounts, and holding blogger briefings on site.

Measurement and evaluation

Pre-launch milestones and pre-commissioned photography led to coverage on the front page of The Times, and articles in The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Time Out, the London Evening Standard, City AM and the LA Times, as well as across the national retail and marketing media.

On the day of launch, a series of media moments were created to appeal to different publications.

The PR team partnered with The Prince's Trust for the first media moment, a photocall with TV presenter Jenni Falconer serving a 'Cabbies' Breakfast' to raise money for the charity, while a scheduled interview on the launch ran in Closer magazine.

The ribbon-cutting attracted more than 30 national photographers and video broadcasters, with Sky News,BBC London, The Times, Daily Express, The Sun, City AM, Getty, Bloomberg, Reuters and CNBC all attending.

The PR team had embedded key messages into the speeches.

The key messages about the history of Cheapside and what One New Change means for London were relayed in interviews that featured on Sky News and BBC London, and in The Times, the Daily Express and the London Evening Standard.


High profile retail figures including Sir Stuart Rose and Sir Philip Green attended the launch. More than 6,000 shoppers visited the shopping centre within the first hour and 17,000 visited during the first day.


For me, what is most exciting about this campaign is not the excellent results, but the approach taken by Blue Rubicon.

It is refreshing that what is essentially a straightforward strategy, which uses an impressive array of relevant tactics, has been used by the team to deliver well against a seemingly complex set of objectives and considerations.

The central idea of 'old London meets new' is a perfect point of inspiration, from a tactical and thematic point of view, and as a platform to counter potential hurdles associated with the opening of One New Change within the local and wider London community.

Too often, the presence of audiences on both sides of the fence has a tendency to confuse the approach; agencies feel the need to generate totally disparate strategies and messages for each.

Blue Rubicon has proved that strategy and overall thinking can be the shared starting point, with the tactics used to deliver the strategy becoming the means by which a consumer or business audience is best targeted.

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