Campaign: FHM Honey of the Year
PR team: Henry's House
Timescale: July 2004-February 2005
FHM's annual quest to find the most beautiful 'girl next door' has, in the past few years, become a mainstay of the magazine - its search for the 'Honey of the Year'. The winners are unique in that they are the only non-celebrities to feature on its cover. Henry's House was chosen to handle the PR for the 2004 search and subsequent FHM supplements.
To generate interest in the competition. To attract readers and contestants and drive sales of the magazine, in particular the 'Honeys issue'.
Strategy and Plan
Henry's House chose to promote the campaign through newspapers and the radio to get as many 16 to 34-year-olds as possible talking about the Honeys. The Daily Star was identified as the paper to launch the competition because of its popularity with the target audience.
The newspaper's appetite for glamour photos became a major selling point in the media partnership - Henry's House made the competition appealing to the Daily Star's long-term interests by making the database of contestants available to the newspaper after the search had ended.
The 'girl next door' theme was exploited in the press releases that were sent to local newspapers. The Honeys were interviewed for the releases, which included angles such as the 'sexy solicitor girl next door'.
The radio facet of the campaign took a different approach to the picture-based print activity. Honeys were briefed before going on local radio stations and encouraged to talk up their chances of winning the competition.
The PR team hoped the story of their personal success would in turn generate coverage for the competition as a whole.
The winners' party targeted a number of TV stations that were popular with the target audience, and eventual winner Natalie Pike was made available for interview as a 'roving ambassador' for FHM.
Measurement and Evaluation
Metrica analysed coverage for Henry's House. The Honey of the Year campaign achieved a double-page spread on five occasions in the Daily Star, and was covered more than 300 times in regional newspapers such as the Manchester Evening News, Stockport Express and Yorkshire Evening Post.
More than 40 interviews were conducted on radio, with the highlights including Radio 1, as well as Key 103 FM and Kent FM. On TV, the Honeys also featured on MTV.
Some 6,000 contestants entered the 2004 competition - a rise of 1,000 on the previous year - a figure buoyed by heavy coverage. Sales of FHM also went up for the issues covering the Honeys, with the dedicated supplement taking 65 per cent market share for the men's magazine sector, up from FHM's usual 50 per cent.
Lisa Woodhouse covered the story for the Stockport Express - the home town of the winning Honey. She says: 'The PR team alerted us to the competition and was quite good at providing us with contact names and the interests of the girls. It was very helpful.'