Lonely Planet stirs up interest in UK guide - Consumer

Campaign: Great Britain Guidebook launch Client: Lonely Planet PR team: In-house Timescale: May 2005 Budget: £1,500

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.

Objectives

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

guide.

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

specific regions.

Results

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.'

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