CAMPAIGN: Healthy success for Manchester festival

The year 2007 was the Manchester Food And Drink Festival's 10-year anniversary. To celebrate this, the festival wanted to use the landmark occasion to tackle a serious issue - healthy eating.

Campaign: Launching 10th Manchester Food and Drink Festival
Client: Manchester Food and Drink Festival
PR Team: Pazang PR
Timescale: March - October 2007
Budget: c. £10,000

The festival's organisers wanted the industry to join forces and promote the benefits of a good diet in a bid to improve upon the comparably low life expectancy rate and high obesity rate in the city.

To drive footfall to the festival and to promote Manchester as a 'foodie' destination with healthy eating being at the forefront of visitors' minds. To drive traffic to the website and to encourage restaurants and food suppliers within the city to be part of the festival and to collectively promote the theme of healthy eating.

Strategy and plan
Pazang launched the 2007 Manchester Food and Drink Festival at a press conference in March 2007. The strategy for the remainder of the campaign revolved around an intensive media relations programme to generate interest in national and regional print and broadcast media. Key events during the Manchester Food and Drink Festival were maximised to secure optimum press profile and Pazang persuaded celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson to open the festival in Manchester's foremost civic area - Albert Square.

Measurement and evaluation
All the photo calls were well attended, resulting in coverage in key target titles such as The Guardian Guide, The Times, The Telegraph, Fresh, Olive, BBC Good Food and Delicious.

The campaign generated coverage with a PR value of over £3.4m, according to in-house evaluation. The national and regional coverage delivered 135 to one return on investment, reaching more than 15 million people.

As a result of the campaign, all ten districts of Manchester were involved in the festival for the first time ever. That made the 2007 event the biggest of its kind in Europe. Manchester Food and Drink attracted around 300,000 attendees, a large increase on last year. The campaign drove traffic to the website with an average of nearly 1,000 visits per day, which increased to five times this during peak period.

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