Campaign: Skipton makes it onto national news agenda - Financial Services

Campaign: Financing Your Future

Client: Skipton Building Society

PR team: Band & Brown Communications

Timescale: April-October 2004

Budget: £50,000

Skipton Building Society regularly achieves good media coverage in the personal-finance pages but wanted more national coverage to bring its 'Lifetime of Advice' strapline to life. Objectives

To build brand awareness and achieve national media coverage. To develop a campaign showing how Skipton could provide financial advice to people of all ages.

Strategy and Plan

The PR team developed a campaign entitled 'Financing Your Future', which was backed by a future-gazing research report revealing how important issues, such as the pensions shortfall, property prices and debt, would change Britain over the next 20 years.

Four news stories were extracted from the report and drip fed to the media throughout the campaign. These included the return of the extended family and how debt is set to explode over the next decade.

The stories had wide appeal, enabling the agency to reach national newspapers, magazines, radio and TV. For example, on the extended-families story, social-affairs editors and women's magazines were targeted.

Helping journalists understand the methodology behind the report was the biggest challenge as some were wary of using current trends to predict the future. Briefings helped combat this, as did ensuring a researcher was on call to answer questions.

Band & Brown's online agency iJack created a website to accompany the 'Save to Learn' story on the growing demand for private education and its predicted costs. This was targeted at parents.

Measurement and Evaluation

The campaign achieved 29 pieces across national newspapers, seven pieces of national TV coverage and 16 pieces of national radio coverage.

Radio 4's Today programme ran the extended-families story seven times and BBC Breakfast News ran three of the stories.

Results

Independent research by the British Market Research Bureau, commissioned by Skipton, shows brand awareness of the society has increased by 21 per cent.

A positive shift in perception also occurred, with a 73 per cent increase in the number of people who see Skipton as innovative, according to the bureau.

Moira O'Neill, deputy editor of financial magazine Money Observer, says it was interesting research that fitted in well with the title's 25th anniversary. She says: 'I was digging around trying to find something on predictions and this was one of the few things I came across.'

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