CIPR PRide Awards: North East and North West

The winners of PRide Awards in the North East and North West

Berghaus campaign
Berghaus campaign

Corporate Comms

Space to Think Differently by O Communications

Waring & Netts is one of the North East’s most respected architectural practices. In its 50th anniversary year, it decided to embark on a striking new brand identity – ‘space architecture and management’  – to herald its national expansion plans.

It wanted an integrated campaign to clarify the company’s new identity and communicate the name change to a wide range of stakeholders.

The campaign was launched with an event at the spaceworks offices, where the new brand was revealed to journalists. Other elements flagged up included the new charitable arm, space foundation, the space organic café in its new building, the space gallery of its staff artwork, lunchtime pilates classes at spaceworks, and the swapping of company cars for green-friendly space shuttles.

‘A well-presented entry that demonstrated solid PR tactics and a creative approach,’ said the judges.

Low Budget

Berghaus store launch by Press Ahead

Outdoor brand Berghaus opened its first retail store in September 2007 in Gates-head MetroCentre’s Red Mall, marking the first time it had sold direct to the consumer in its 40-year history. Press Ahead supported the launch on a £6,000 budget.

Berghaus sponsored athletes Sir Chris Bonington and Leo Houlding to set up an abseil during which Sir Chris ‘unzipped’ two pieces of branded fabric covering the store frontage, revealing it to the crowd.

Photographs were widely used in the region over the next few days. The first weekend had higher than expected footfall in-store and takings in the first week exceeded the target for the first month.

Outstanding PR Consultancy

Gardiner Richardson

Winning the award for the second year running, Gardiner Richardson has a staff of 36. The agency has won £3.25m worth of OJEU tenders in the past three years.

Outstanding In-House Team

Durham University

The newly restructured team works similarly to a newsroom. An impressive variety of university media experts are used by a broad range of media.

Business and Trade

Signposter.com by O Communications

WPP-owned signposter.com allows business owners to log on and design their own ad from millions of images and graphics and then check it out on local poster sites of their choice. O Communications was asked to target small business in the North East and communicate the message that outdoor poster sites were not just for big brands.

The launch was so successful that it has been adopted in Birmingham and Portsmouth.

Corporate Responsibility

The Ethical Food Policy from the Co-operative Group

The Co-op launched its ethical food policy in February after consulting consumers. The PR team briefed journalists on the launch of the consultation and the results.

The campaign was rolled out in stages, giving the media something new at each step, and also targeted regional press. More than 100,000 people responded to the consultation and the policy embraces consumers’ priority areas – animal welfare, ethical training and the environment.

Specific initiatives included a move to sell only free-range eggs, increasing the number of pesticides banned from use in own-brand products, and converting all own-brand hot drinks to Fairtrade. These announcements were supported with events including a competition for children to design an egg-box and Mad Hatter’s Tea Party events in-store.

Judges praised the ‘fully deserving’ entry’s ‘solid PR tactics and creative approach’.

Best Event

Under and Over the Mersey by Merseytravel

Two tunnels under the Mersey are owned and operated by Merseytravel. The tunnels are key arterial routes for Wirral and Liverpool, but a decision to increase tunnel tolls led to negative reports in local media.

The Merseytravel team developed the Under and Over the Mersey campaign to boost positive associations with the tunnels. On 15 June, it offered people a chance to walk through a closed Queensway Tunnel from Liverpool to Birkenhead, take a heritage bus ride to Woodside Ferry Terminal and return to Liverpool on the Mersey Ferries.

More than 15,000 people took part, and it received extensive coverage on radio and TV and in the press – none of it negative.

Corporate Comms

Jobs for the Girls by IAS B2B Public Relations

Manufacturer Rockwool wanted to recruit more women at its Bridgend factory. IAS ran a campaign using female employees as spokespeople and a ‘ladies evening’ at the factory. The PR activity tied in with a recruitment ad and Rockwool received 1,830 applications (a quarter of them from women) for 110 jobs. As a direct result of the campaign, 16 women have been hired so far. Judges praised the campaign’s ‘excellent results’.

Outstanding Small PR Consultancy

Cameron Wells Communications

Having set itself challenging objectives, Cameron Wells achieved great client endorsements and positive financial results over the past 12 months. ‘It showed that PR is great fun too,’ added the judges.

Outstanding In-House PR Team

Information Commissioner’s Office

The ICO PR team has performed so well that awareness of data protection and freedom of information is at an all-time high. It manages a budget of £1.6m in a ‘cost-effective way’, said the judges.

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