PR Team: Financial Dynamics Corporate and LLM Communications
Campaign: Launch of Alodis
Timescale: January - March
Alodis, the first major independent service for self-employed
professionals (SEPs), has been created with substantial backing from
private investors to address the requirements and views of Britain's 1.6
It is estimated that the number of SEPs, which contribute pounds 65bn
annually to the economy, will double by 2010. Alodis assessed SEPs'
needs, concluding that they deserve greater recognition.
To launch Alodis, introducing it to SEPs and persuading them to register
as members. The target for the first month was 8,000 registrations. To
create awareness of Alodis among leading opinion formers.
Strategy and Plan
Financial Dynamics used research to highlight the issues surrounding
SEPs and Alodis' knowledge.
MORI was commissioned to survey the attitudes of 500 SEPs. The findings
were combined with Alodis' research to reveal that 75 per cent of SEPs
have had no government support, 69 per cent have had little or no help
from banks and that 62 per cent wanted a representative voice.
The campaign was planned to communicate the findings on 12 February,
Alodis' launch day. Specialist angles and case studies were targeted at
regional and professional sector media. Embargoed copies of the research
were distributed to and summarised for small business, personal finance
and lifestyle correspondents.
Bulletin International developed a broadcast strategy. It produced and
sold in a video news release of interviews with SEPs and Alodis head
Julia Hutchison. TV, radio and online media outlets were contacted using
the pre-recorded interviews.
Public affairs consultancy LLM Communications advised Alodis on contact
and positioning with political opinion forming groups. Copies of the
research were distributed to MPs, ministerial advisers and policy
Alodis explained to the political community that two-thirds of small
businesses are actually sole traders (not employers), with special
circumstances which have - until now - largely been ignored.
Measurement and Evaluation
Coverage came from The Guardian, The Independent, The Times, and
Independent on Sunday. Broadcast coverage included Sky News and Radio 4.
As well as regional media coverage, the targeted market sectors were
reached, including articles in New Media Age, Personnel Today, Design
Week and Accountancy Age.
Stories conveyed Alodis' key messages and led to follow-up enquiries.
Features exploring the issues raised and profiling case studies are
The target of 8,000 registrations was achieved in the first week and
18,500 registered to Alodis in the first three weeks. There has also
been positive feedback from the political community, including the
minister responsible for small business affairs, Patricia Hewitt.
The registration numbers highlight the campaign's success.
Financial Dynamics last week launched the Alodis magazine (PRWeek, 9
March). Work has also been undertaken around the Competition
Commission's report on small business banking and the Budget.
Further research is being developed with the Industrial Society.