Campaign: Is this the UK's happiest workplace?
Client: Chiswick Park
PR team: Tamesis Business Communications
Timescale: May-September 2004
Budget: Part of retained fee
Chiswick Park is a new office park in West London, designed by the Richard Rogers Partnership and home to 3,000 workers, although that is set to treble when it is complete. Built around a small lake, the site aims to differentiate itself by having a dedicated on-site 'Enjoy Work' team, which provides facilities and services such as a gym, bar and events.
To increase awareness of the park and interest from prospective tenants.
To secure press coverage for the office park in the nationals.
Strategy and Plan
During the summer, Chiswick Park hosts weekly events for staff on Friday lunchtimes, ranging from rollercoaster rides, model speed-boat racing on the lake, archery, golf, fencing lessons and music festivals.
Tamesis Business Communications decided to maximise this programme of events to present Chiswick Park as the UK's most enjoyable workplace and targeted newspaper sections that would be seen by human resources professionals as well as senior management with an influence over where companies might relocate. Quirky features of the site, such as a large toy box that is available for staff to use, were highlighted.
Employment correspondents on the national press were invited to one of the summer events to see the Enjoy Work ethic in action. Journalists were given access to case studies from companies already on the site, and interviews with Chiswick Park Estate Management chief executive Kay Chaston were set up, endorsing the benefits - in terms of productivity, recruitment, retention of staff and motivation - of working in an unusual environment.
Measurement and Evaluation
Several national newspapers carried features about the park and its events, with editorial appearing in the Daily Mirror, the Creme section in The Times, and the recruitment pages of the Financial Times and The Guardian.
Enquiries rose by around 20 per cent throughout the summer, traditionally a quiet time in the lettings calendar.
Richard Donkin, who writes on workplace issues for the Financial Times, says his interest was attracted by the fact that Chiswick Park seemed to offer something different for companies and employees, as well as the fact that senior people were made available for interview and the presentations were useful.
'The PR team got the message over to me quickly. We also had access after the event to the intranet site, which was helpful,' he adds.