PRWeek Corporate, City & Public Affairs Awards winners: Best Use of Media Relations in a Campaign

The winner in this category is 'Save pub life' by 3 Monkeys Zeno for Budweiser Brewing Group.

Customers could buy a gift card to help pubs hit by the coronavirus lockdown in this campaign from Budweiser Brewing Group.

Save Pub Life was based on the insight that, while pubs may enjoy heightened customer spend upon reopening, the lack of cashflow risks closure for many.

The brewer pledged to match the value of the card to the pub up to a combined total of £1m. Crucially, the pubs got the money immediately, not when they re-opened.

There was a three-phased approach. Firstly, the launch in March saw a media announcement in national, regional and trade media, with communications materials showcasing Budweiser Brewing Group’s commitment to the trade. There was a set-piece interview with UK president Paula Lindenberg with Sky News’ Ian King.

Phase two in May included the release of research showing 93 per cent of Brits were keen to return to the pub upon re-opening, but 40 per cent would be more likely to visit if staff wore face masks. This formed the basis of communications for print and broadcast media, with local broadcast a particular focus. It also informed trade media activity.

Phase three, as pubs re-opened in July, showcased the business’ support and expertise around reopening safely.

Coverage across national, trade and broadcast media totalled 210 items, and 100 per cent was positive.

In June, Save Pub Life hit its target of funnelling £1m to the trade, with 1,600 pubs and bars signed up and 20,000 gift cards sold. The scheme has positioned Budweiser Brewing Group as a significant supporter of the industry – with the potential for Save Pub Life to evolve for longer term challenges pubs will face post-lockdown.

Judge's comment:

"I really liked this entry - good execution, and the results stood for themselves [with] real tangible commercial benefit and impact/reach."


Highly commended:

'Farting cows make dairy butter more harmful to planet than margarine' by APCO Worldwide and 72 Point for Upfield

To show the positive environmental impact of switching from from dairy butter to a plant-based margarine, this campaign focused on a crude fact that became a headline writer's dream: that burping and farting cows make butter production three times more damaging to the environment than plant-based spreads. Different versions of the release were sent to different types of publication, and visual assets included a tongue-in-cheek meme. The campaign far exceeded KPIs, with 197 pieces of coverage in the UK.

Shortlisted:

'Raising hygiene standards during the Coronavirus pandemic' by Brands2life for Rentokil Initial

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