Jersey Royals new potatoes represent 68 per cent of the island's agriculture exports, with 99 per cent sold to mainland Britain. Hammond's task was to launch the new season's crop, reminding British consumers that Jersey Royals were in-store, and creating national media coverage.
The story was naturally of interest to food writers and consumer magazines, but a creative approach was required to appeal to national print and broadcast media. Given just three weeks to come up with a proposal, Hammond spent a reconnaissance day in Jersey investigating an incidence of rustling of Jersey Royals a few years before.
From this incident the agency developed an angle about potato poaching in Jersey. Research showed farmers regularly experienced 'poaching', but were unaware other growers had similar problems. A weekend telephone survey was conducted to ask consumers if they would be tempted to steal Jersey Royals. The term 'Brown Gold' was coined to emphasise the exclusive nature of the crop.
John Nettles, Jersey's most famous television detective in his role as Jim Bergerac, was brought back to the island to advise farmers on how to set up a 'Spud Watch' to guard their crop. A site was selected for a photocall, and 50 Jersey Royal farmers were mustered for a briefing by Nettles. Three farmers were given media training to prepare them for radio and TV interviews.
BBC TV News 24 not only covered the photocall but also spent three hours filming with a 'Spud Patrol' the night before. Channel 5 News also ran the story. National press picture desks were sent pictures by ISDN, and there was coverage in seven nationals including the Times under the headline 'Offshore tax haven faces a crime wave as poachers target its hugely profitable crop'.
After the high-profile coverage in the nationals, GMTV ran a follow-up story the next day. Radio coverage included three news bulletins on Today and BBC Radio 5 Live. Thirty-one regional dailies also ran the story.
British Airways London Eye
After the developers of the Millennium wheel unsuccessfully applyed for Millennium Commission funding, BA came forward as the main sponsor of the London Eye in 1996. With almost no marketing budget, the launch and positioning depended firmly on PR. An open approach to the media was adopted from the outset. Despite some technical problems, this approach paid off.
Evaluation of national newspaper coverage in the week after opening showed overwhelmingly positive comments. The FT described BA's sponsorship as 'the publicity coup of the decade'.
Launch of the Millennium Map
The Impact Agency
The Impact Agency was brought in three weeks before launch to generate media interest in the first ever complete aerial photographic map of the UK. It highlighted the news value of the project, emphasising controversial aspects such as secrecy and privacy. Television coverage reached more than 31 million people, and the story appeared in national newspapers with a combined circulation of almost 56 million. PR was directly responsible for generating 155,000 visits to The Millennium Map Company's web site in the two weeks after launch.
Launch of the Fashion Funkee
Nationwide says no to cash machine charges
Nationwide Building Society.