Client: Preston Borough Council
PR Team: In-house
Campaign: Tower block demolition
Timescale: April - November
To make way for redevelopment, Preston council had to raze 1960s tower
blocks that used to house 600 people.
The PR strategy for the demolition had to focus on keeping local
residents, businesses and the wider public of Preston fully informed
about the demolition process so they had confidence in the demolition,
and participated in the orderly evacuation of their homes and business
residencies on blow-down day.
Anticipating that the event would attract thousands of spectators, the
PR team also wanted to exercise and highlight a tight safety-conscious
strategy so all could view the demolition safely.
The council also saw the event as an opportunity to grab maximum media
coverage for the council and the demolition firms.
Strategy and Plan
Public meetings, leaflets and personal visits from councillors and other
demolition parties to all being evacuees.
Information on blow-down day was to be sent out initially on a monthly
During the final week, the PR team planned to intensify media coverage
and fed event 'exclusives' to the local evening paper.
Stories included public viewing arrangements and a profile of a tower
block resident of 39 years, who was chosen to detonate the
Another story released prior to the event was about the UK's only female
explosives engineer who was to lay the charges.
Measurement and Evaluation
On the day, close media access - just 150 metres away from the tumbling
buildings - supplementary footage supplied by the council from high
vantage points and a detailed press pack ensured the event was well
reported by regional TV, radio and newspapers.
All residents were kept informed as to what was happening and why.
Also, people from outside the town came to watch, which benefited the