PRWEEK AWARDS: Marcoms: Business

WINNER - Edinburgh Park ep-online, Weber Shandwick Scotland

Edinburgh Park faced a problem. Since the business park was set up in 1992, it has grown to house 16 companies and 7,000 employees. Lack of effective transport facilities and rising traffic volume had started to impact on those who have to make their living at the site. A second phase, which would create another 20,000 jobs, was okayed by the Scottish Executive - on condition that the developers achieved a modal switch of 30 per cent by a variety of methods.

Edinburgh Park hired Weber Shandwick Scotland to launch, Scotland's first multi-site intranet for its 7,000 existing workers. The PR team was charged with encouraging sign-up to the members' section of the site, and participation in a car-share scheme, since one of the keys to further development is the exclusion of extensive car parking. A short, sharp burst of activity was required to leave no employee unaware of the site URL.

WS recommended a number of initiatives, including encouraging cycling through cycle clubs and bus travel through special offers. The agency attempted to make the launch of the website stand out from the crowd using a stunt which saw a team of 'corporate hitch-hikers' stationed around the park at morning, lunchtime and evening rush hours, displaying the web address on handwritten cardboard signs. They were briefed to talk about the scheme when workers pulled over to ask them what it was all about.

Media relations was kept to a minimum, although there was coverage of the launch in the Evening News, and BBC Reporting Scotland featured it on its lunchtime and evening bulletins.

The objective of achieving ten per cent sign up to car sharing in the first year was achieved in nine months and this is expected to rise with the opening of a new access road which is only available to those who car share. Train links are expected to be up and running by May 2003.



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