Established in 1976, the Prince's Trust is Prince Charles's charity and aims to help 14 to 30-year-olds achieve their potential. While it has been well known for events such Party in the Park and Fashion Rocks, the charity entered the world of urban music in May with the Urban Music Festival at London's Earl's Court. Objectives
To launch and promote the new event, and maximise ticket sales. To promote the core messages of the Prince's Trust and position it as in touch with young people. To give the event longevity and credibility.
Strategy and Plan
Since the event was to star R 'n' B stars Beyonce and Alicia Keys, and rapper Jay-Z, using the artists involved was a logical strategy to promote the event.
Although there was no media access to the artists in advance, the names alone were enough to secure launch coverage, with Slice announcing that Jay-Z would be headlining his last live appearance, and using the story of his rise from troubled teen to adult role model to chime with the trust's wider objectives.
Starved of the physical presence of stars to put forward for interview, the agency sourced case studies of young people helped by the Prince's Trust and who were involved in urban music and culture. A 21-year-old rapper from London and three other young people explained how the trust helped them establish their lives. Slice also generated coverage on the other activities in the event, including music industry advice workshops, MC battles and football.
The agency worked with the Prince's Trust to identify 'brand ambassadors' such as Jamelia, Def Jam founder Russell Simmons and Trevor Nelson. Media releases also highlighted the presence of British artists such as Dizzee Rascal and Jamelia, and Slice invited 250 journalists and ten national photo agencies to the event.
Measurement and Evaluation
There were more than 300 items of coverage in the nationals, all of which mentioned the Prince's Trust. Articles on non-music events at the festival appeared in the Daily Mirror's careers section and Jobcentre freesheet Works For Me. The Voice, New Nation and The Sun all picked up on the involvement of the brand ambassadors, while there was also coverage in specialist titles such as Blues & Soul, Rewind and Tense. There were reviews in The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, the NME and the Evening Standard.
The young people's stories appeared in the London Jobs section of the Evening Standard and the Real Life section of Now. In-house evaluation showed that 85 per cent included key messages, while 95 per cent gave the ticket web address or hotline number.
The event sold out, with 30,000 tickets sold over the two days of the festival. Coverage was achieved in titles that would not normally cover urban music, such as the Daily Mail and Vogue.
However, Daily Mail showbiz writer Baz Bamigboye has a mixed view of the PR effort around the Urban Music Festival. He says: 'The PR team were very helpful. But I never received a call from the Prince's Trust directly and there was very little follow-up (in PR terms).'