Builder Morrison adds fun to business award

This year the Morrison Construction Services board identified that the company was not getting the share of voice it merited in the media, particularly in England and Wales.

Campaign Ten Years of Investor in People 
Client Morrison Construction Services
PR team In-house
Timescale April-June 2005
Budget £4,400

To tackle this, it appointed a second PR manager in the summer to work in tandem with their existing PR manager, who has responsibility for Scottish media. The building group previously used agencies, but this arrangement had not proved satisfactory.

The priority for the in-house team was to secure editorial around Morrison being recognised as an Investor in People for the tenth consecutive year.

To gain coverage that brought across the company's 'personality', rather than straightforward business reporting, and raise staff awareness of the purpose and value of the IiP award.

Strategy and Plan
Because Morrison had held the Investor in People accreditation for ten years, the in-house PR team realised that journalists may not regard the story as newsworthy.

To make the story more eye-catching and humorous, the PR team commissioned unusual photography to accompany the press release. Rather than the bog-standard 'grip and grin' photo of a company executive holding an award, Morrison created giant polystyrene IiP logos and photographed employees jumping through them. As well as being eye-catching, these logos also related to the company's building credentials.

Photocalls with the logos were set up at different regional offices, allowing the press releases to be tailored for local media.

Measurement and Evaluation
The story was picked up by various media. Local newspaper articles included pieces in The Maidenhead Advertiser, Marlow Free Press and Aberdeen Press & Journal. Trade magazine coverage included mentions in Contract Journal. The advertising value equivalent has been estimated at £13,220.

All media that ran the story used the lighthearted giant logo pictures, while Morrison used a write-up in its internal communications. The logos created a talking point in the company, with several staff requesting copies of the photos. A montage was displayed on Morrison's intranet site and prints were framed for reception areas.

Bucks Free Press business editor Carla Delaney says: 'Business press releases are frequently lacklustre, but photographs such as the ones of staff jumping through giant logos brighten my day. They were imaginative and I've used them in PR training to show people that business stories are enhanced by good photography.'

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