Campaign: Alderley Edge boosts sales through events - Consumer PR

Campaign: Promotion of the Alderley Edge development Client: George Wimpey Manchester PR team: Rattle PR Timescale: June-November 2004 Budget: Approximately £7,500

When St Hilary's Park in Alderley Edge completed a new phase of development, potential buyers were thin on the ground. Owner George Wimpey Manchester asked Rattle PR to bring the residential area to the attention of its wealthy target audience. Objectives

To reach wealthy locals who were looking to downsize to a smaller property.

To stress these were aspirational homes and persuade journalists who had already written about Alderley Edge to cover the development again.

Strategy and Plan

Rattle PR decided to hold a series of 'upmarket events' at the site to attract media and potential buyers. It teamed up with specialist lifestyle magazine Living Edge to ensure it received local coverage. Local consumer, property and lifestyle magazines, newspapers and TV were also targeted with details of the events, which were selected to particularly appeal to wealthy women with time on their hands.

The team wanted to hold events that would reflect the 'quality of life' in Alderley Edge and used tie-ups with exclusive brands to generate interest among the target audience.

The events included a showcase of luxury cars, where visitors could test new Porsche models, and a valuation evening in a show home hosted by Sotheby's experts. There was also a champagne-tasting session, an exhibition of local jewellery worth more than £1m, and flower-arranging demonstrations.

Measurement and Evaluation

Living Edge carried previews and reviews of all the events, while news stories appeared in Moving Manchester and Lifestyle.

Manchester cable TV station Channel M made a programme about Alderley Edge featuring the PR stunt, while mainstream local newspapers covering the story included the Wilmslow Express.

Results

By November 2004, all apartments and town houses were sold, far exceeding sales forecasts.

Three of the events were oversubscribed and Rattle has since been asked to devise PR ideas for further building phases at Alderley Edge. George Wimpey has already repeated the Porsche event at another development at Lavister in North Wales.

Wilmslow Express reporter Katrina McKeever says the paper covered the events in its news rather than its property section because it received an informative press release and a good picture from Rattle. 'There was no need to actually attend the evening but we were keen to review what was happening. Rattle supplied all the details we needed,' she says.

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