CAMPAIGNS: Cheese launch takes the biscuit - Generic PR

The UK Cheese Makers Association was originally set up in 1995 as a lobbying organisation with a focus on developing export links. However, qualitative research carried out by Nidus Research in August 1996 highlighted the requirement for a more domestic generic approach.

The UK Cheese Makers Association was originally set up in 1995 as a

lobbying organisation with a focus on developing export links. However,

qualitative research carried out by Nidus Research in August 1996

highlighted the requirement for a more domestic generic approach.



The British Cheese Board was subsequently formed in March 1997 to

address growing consumer interest. It has 27 member companies which

produce over 50 per cent of the cheese made in Britain.



Objectives



To launch the BCB to trade and consumer media and form links with

influential bodies.



Tactics



Harrison Cowley used the recent research as a platform for launching the

association it had inspired. The survey which was carried out among

eight groups of eight people from socio-economic groups BC1C2 between

the ages of 25 to 45, revealed that 98 per cent of the UK population

enjoys eating cheese. It also showed that consumers acitvely looking to

reduce fat will generally look at other avenues of reduction before

cutting out cheese ,or refuse to compromise on taste by buying low fat

cheese. The research also showed that BSE is not a problem in the

consumer’s mind when it comes to dairy products.



’We knew we needed a strong defence on this issue which is why research

was important,’ says Harrison Cowley group board director Paul

Kelly.



Armed with the research findings, Harrison Cowley scheduled a launch at

the Lanesborough Hotel in London in April, aiming at opinion

formers.



As well as trade and consumer media, cheese buyers from the supermarkets

and representatives from influential bodies such as MAFF and the

National Dairy Council were invited. Findings from the initial research

were presented, plus further research on the mature cheddar market. TV

chef Gary Rhodes was brought in to give a presentation highlighting the

versatility of cheese as a source of protein and healthy meat

substitute.



On 28 April a press release announcing the formation of the BCB and

highlighting results from the research was issued to trade and consumer

media.



Results



Trade titles covering the launch included the Grocer and Supermarketing,

and there were radio interviews on BBC Radio Bristol and Somerset

Sound.



Harrison Cowley says it is too early for articles to have appeared in

consumer titles because of the long lead times, although it has targeted

women’s magazines with editorial, promotions and advertorial ideas.



As a result of the launch, close links have been formed with bodies such

as Food from Britain and the National Dairy Council. The launch has also

generated over 500 calls from the public to the BCB’s consumer desk set

up at Harrison Cowley’s Bristol office.



Verdict



Research has given the BCB a platform from which to mount a long-term

campaign. In particular it has highlighted areas where work needs to be

done - for example, to redress the lack of knowledge about British

regional cheeses and tackle the idea that continental cheeses are the

only way to satisfy 1990s aspirations.



Kelly was pleased with trade coverage and establishing relationships

with influential food bodies which may be exploited in joint

promotions.



But he admits it is going to be a ’longer haul’ with consumer media and

Harrison Cowley is now agreeing the PR programme with the BCB, and will

be looking at ways to convey messages about benefits to the media.



Client: British Cheese Board

PR Team: Harrison Cowley

Campaign: Launch of British Cheese Board

Timescale: March 1997 - ongoing

Cost: pounds 100,000 over 12 months



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in