Campaign: M1NT shareholders' club
Client: M1NT/Alistair Paton
PR team: Golden Goose PR
Timescale: April 2004-February 2005
Australian entrepreneur Alistair Paton wanted to form the UK's first shareholders' club that offered investors a stake in, as well as membership of, an upmarket licensed bar. People could invest between £500 and £25,000, with shareholders receiving 52 per cent of the bar's profits and exclusive use of the venue.
To secure investment for the project via publicity in the business and financial media. To create a fashionable high-end brand identity for M1NT, launch the venue and ensure the concept was credited to Paton, a 27-year-old 'financial whiz kid'.
Strategy and Plan
The campaign had to ensure M1NT was seen as a serious business opportunity and not a gimmick by potential investors. It also had to take into account that there was nothing tangible to publicise initially because there were no investors and no venue. This meant a number of journalists were sceptical.
Nevertheless, coverage had to be generated in the financial press to secure the necessary funding for the launch to take place. The business pages were targeted during May 2004 on the assumption that a venue would be found by October and that a launch event would take place in February this year.
Golden Goose PR recommended that an exclusive should be offered to the Evening Standard, with a news release sent to all business editors.
By June 2004, Paton had found his first venue, a 100-capacity bar formerly known as Monte's in London's trendy Sloane Street, opposite Prada and Giorgio Armani. A launch party was planned for 21 February, and around 100 editors, society and celebrity guests were invited.
Measurement and Evaluation
The only way to measure the effectiveness of the campaign was by the interest generated in the brand and Paton among investors. Once the venue was found, an exclusive was offered to the Financial Times' How To Spend It magazine. On the Sunday before the launch party, exclusive photos of the interior of M1NT appeared in The Sunday Times, alongside shots of Paton.
Around 20 journalists and diarists attended the launch, alongside celebrities including GMTV presenter Jenni Falconer. Coverage followed in The Daily Telegraph's Spy, Heat and OK!, while a story on the design of M1NT appeared in The Independent on Sunday.
The campaign attracted more than 4,000 investor enquiries, enabling Paton to choose who to sell his 250 share packages and 500 exclusive memberships to. The feature in the FT magazine was written by contributor Simon de Burton, who had a cocktail named after him following his interview with Paton. 'This was a good story for the magazine because it mixed finance with leisure,' he says.
'The PR team understood our readership and Paton was a fascinating person to profile.'
Following the launch, M1NT has received enquiries from fashion designers and artists keen to hold exhibitions and launch new collections in the venue.