CAMPAIGNS: R3 highlights wider issues of insolvency - Corporate PR

Client: R3 PR Team: Smith Grundon & Partners Campaign: Britain's busiest business graveyards Timescale: December 2002 - February 2003 Budget: £5,000

R3, the Association of Business Recovery Professionals, is an industry body representing 90 per cent of UK licensed insolvency practitioners.

It provides training and information for the business recovery industry, and develops ethical standards and best practice guidelines.

It wanted to be seen by everyone from consumers to government decision-makers to be working in the public interest, and not just for its members.

R3 was also keen to influence business groups, government bodies and NGOs, and to boost the profile of the profession, particularly as the traditional view of the receiver or administrator is that of harbinger of doom.

Objectives

To raise the profile of R3, which stands for 'Rescue, Recovery and Renewal', as well as position R3 as the authority on insolvency issues. To increase awareness of the type of financial problems that lead businesses into insolvency.

Strategy and Plan

PR agency Smith Grundon & Partners commissioned a survey in conjunction with business information provider ICC Credit on the UK's most 'bust' towns. Aside from studying areas of the UK, the research outlined which business sectors experienced high levels of insolvency and the size of the companies going bust.

A league table - Britain's Busiest Graveyards - which was distributed to media with graphics and background material, accompanied the survey.

Journalists were offered interviews with R3 president David Buchler, and were given details of one of a bank of pre-produced bust company case studies, along with the chance to interview their directors to discover why they went bust.

Regional journalists were offered interviews with the relevant chairman (R3 is split into ten regions), and features for trade publications broke down information from the survey on the magazine's sector.

Measurement and Evaluation

Coverage featured in The Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, the Daily Express, the Daily Mirror, The Sun, the Daily Star, 24 regional newspapers, two regional TV networks and four radio networks. Online coverage included articles on BBC News Online and trade site finance-uk.co.uk. Trade coverage included Accountancy Age, Credit Management and Business Moneyfacts.

Staff writer on Accountancy Age Adriana Zea said: 'The agency was really helpful in getting me information but the results were from 2001, which is a bit old when you're trying to write a topical news story.'

Results

R3 has received an increased number of enquiries for information from NGOs, MPs, SMPs, government departments, regional development boards, universities, business organisations, students and urban regeneration bodies.

It also claims to have been contacted by a number of journalists on the campaign hit list with requests to comment on other insolvency-related issues.

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