Guidebook publisher Lonely Planet published the latest edition of its
Great Britain book on 25 May. It wanted the book to generate media
debate, despite it being the sixth edition.
To launch the book and exploit its content for a 'state of the nation'
debate in national and regional media.
Strategy and Plan
For previous editions the PR team had only sent out a general press
release. This time, the challenge was to make the guidebook still
relevant on its sixth edition. The team therefore divided the book into
11 regions and tailored press releases around the good and bad points of
each locality, providing regional news editors with excerpts from the
For regional media that contacted Lonely Planet, the press office had
prepared the guidebook in PDF format that could be swiftly sent via
email with more regional content.
Rather than using a celebrity to endorse the product, the team selected
the book's co-ordinating author, David Else to take part in interviews.
Eighty-seven interviews were requested over three days after the book's
release. As requests came in, the team's job changed from scheduling
interviews to prioritising them.
Measurement and Evaluation
There were 291 items of coverage, including live interviews with 33 BBC
radio stations across the country, 16 items on ITV regional television
news programmes, and pieces on Channel 4 News and Five News. Print
successes included a full-page feature in The Times, a half-page feature
in The Guardian and articles in the Metro, Daily Mail and Daily Star.
All coverage was evaluated in-house, finding that 97 per cent appeared
in target media.
Eighty per cent of pieces were positive about the Great Britain
guidebook; eight per cent were neutral and only 12 per cent negative,
even though press releases highlighted criticisms by the guide of
The campaign generated more coverage for the guidebook than was achieved
by any previous edition. Sharon Hodgson, MP for Gateshead East &
Washington West, even tabled an Early Day Motion about the positive
content on Newcastle. To date, EMEA sales have reached £100,000.
The Press Association travel correspondent Peter Woodman says: 'The PR
team ensured I got the guide in good time. It was, as ever, full of good
angles on which I could hang my story. These pieces normally do well and
this time was no exception.'