PRWeek UK Awards Winners 2020: In-house Team of the Year (Private Sector)

The Chivas Brothers communications team has delivered an outstanding and effective PR programme across its key whisky brands and played an integral role in helping the business adapt to the COVID-19 crisis.

The 19-strong Chivas Brothers comms team ambition is to open up Scotch whisky to new territories and audiences while keeping sustainability and responsibility at its heart.

In the past year, it has worked alongside marketing colleagues to plan and activate over 50 PR campaigns across more than 80 markets, including global sports sponsorships (Chivas x Manchester United), music platforms (Boiler Room x Ballantine’s True Music) and a $1m social enterprise competition (The Chivas Venture).

Arguably its most impressive work was The Glenlivet’s 'Original by Tradition' creative positioning, for which it became the first spirit brand to team up with a sustainable packaging start-up and create the world’s first glassless whisky cocktail 'Capsule Collection'. 

With no spend behind it, the campaign trended on Twitter in the UK and US, earning 42,000 social posts. More than 1,000 pieces of coverage were secured across four continents, with 384 pieces appearing in top-tier publications, on global news stations and even in US talk shows. This helped the brand value grow by 15 per cent.

The team was also pivotal in helping the company adapt to the coronavirus lockdown with employee support programmes, crisis comms, operations and community support, including a dedicated working from home comms channel – Dram Good Team.

These efforts yielded unprecedented levels of employee engagement and generated more than 100 pieces of positive UK media coverage, growing its corporate social channels by up to 15 per cent, and securing two mentions in Parliament for its hand sanitiser.

Judge's comment

Some excellent, industry-leading campaign work and COVID-related flexibility shown, delivering the stunning ‘Glenlivet Capsule Collection’ campaign with its very impressive commercial impact. Their COVID response resulted in significant reputational benefits for the business.


 

Highly Commended

Vintage Publicity, Penguin Random House

The Vintage publicity team delivered impactful and strategic publicity and events campaigns for a range of writers across a breadth of genres: from debut fiction and poetry to cookery and graphic novels, sports biography to literary heavyweights, bestselling crime-writing to celebrity memoirs. These included high-profile campaigns for Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan and Jo Nesbo. With a modest budget, the team helped Vintage deliver 11 per cent growth in net sales.

Shortlisted:

Aldi

Hearst UK

NatWest Group

The Guardian

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