CAMPAIGNS: Media Relations - Marriott golf link-up aids Sport Relief

Client: Marriott Hotels UK
PR Team: In-house with Leedex Euro RSCG
Campaign: Launch of Marriott's association with BBC Sport Relief as
official golf partner
Timescale: April - July
Agency fees: £13,000

Sport Relief was a fund-raising initiative run by the BBC and Comic Relief based around a five-hour broadcast on 13 July. The idea was to use sport as a way of stimulating charitable community and corporate activity.

Marriott Hotels identified Sport Relief as an ideal project to get involved with to promote its facilities. As many of the firm's hotels have golf courses, it became the 'official golf partner' for the event.

Objectives

To raise awareness of the hotel chain's golf and leisure facilities; to publicise the company's fundraising activity; and to develop the profile of each hotel within its community.

Accordingly, there were four audience targets for press coverage: local, national, hotel trade and the golfing press.

It was also important to secure coverage for the campaign within the BBC Sport Relief programme.

Strategy and Plan

Each hotel had its own programme of events to publicise. Some ran golf fun days, others held golf teaching sessions and pro-am tournaments.

Each hotel was to handle its own local PR. To facilitate this, packs were prepared for each hotel comprising a list of fund-raising ideas, press release and press invitation templates, and a list of target press.

National PR was handled by the in-house team and Leedex Euro RSCG, and began with a launch photo shoot at the County Hall Marriott

in London with BBC sports personality Alan Hansen.

A major plank of the national campaign was to find celebrities who could take part in the golf events. Competitions in golfing magazines were also organised.

The online part of the campaign included a competition on the Sport Relief website, while internally (for the hotels) there was an intranet page to keep each hotel informed of all activities.

Measurement and Evaluation

In all, the press coverage was estimated to have reached around six million people.

One of the highlights was a competition in the News of the World, to which there were 3,000 entries.

To add to that, the highlight of 20 cuttings of regional coverage was a double-page spread in the Daily Record.

Marriott activity was mentioned twice - totalling around one minute in all - on the BBC Sport Relief programme. This programme was watched by 6.9 million people.

Results

Marriott is set to conduct surveys to measure awareness generated among key stakeholders, and so accurate data is not yet available.

One survey will measure the awareness of Marriott's golf facilities and involvement with Sports Relief among golf clubs in the UK. A second survey will gauge the impact of involvement among staff and hotel guests.

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