Economic growth in South Australia and its capital Adelaide has led
to a skills shortage, particularly in IT and engineering. The State
Government of South Australia launched an incentive package - including
a low repayment loan of pounds 2,500 and low-cost accommodation for
three months - to encourage 8,000 immigrants to the state by the year
With the UK a prime target because of its internationally-recognised job
skills and common language, Peter Prowse Associates was hired to mount a
PR campaign to generate enquiries from qualified Brits interested in
To encourage emigration to Adelaide, highlighting the quality of life
and opportunities for skilled IT professionals and engineers. A target
of 1,200 enquiries was set.
The South Australian Government’s London team took a stand at the Jobs
Abroad Exhibition at Olympia, opening on 7 March, using it as a focal
point to invite the media to talk to Government officials. PPA account
director Eric White was not confident this was a big enough draw and
sold in the story as an advance exclusive to the Daily Mail, timed to
coincide with the opening of the exhibition.
Angles were developed for the national, regional (targeting areas with
suitable workers) and trade (targeting computer and engineering titles)
media. The Market Tiers was briefed to set up radio interviews with
Geoff Walls, the South Australian Government’s agent general, on major
regional stations in industrial areas.
When John Major announced the General Election date it gave a new angle
for the campaign. There was a surge in enquiries about emigrating to
Adelaide - although whether this was due to people being prompted by the
upcoming election or media coverage is not known. White used the Press
Association to put out two stories, one on 7 April and the other in the
last week of the election campaign, about the high level of enquiries
from Britons interested in emigrating to South Australia.
PPA liaised with the South Australian Government in Australia, and a
release was put out by the Premier of South Australia, John Olsen,
saying how delighted he was with the level of enquiries from British
Thanks to the Daily Mail piece, ’Cash perks lure Poms to paradise’, Sky
News and London News Direct attended the exhibition and broadcast
interviews with Geoff Walls. There were also interviews with Radio 5
Live and 12 regional radio stations.
White admits he was a little disappointed with regional press coverage
but says it was difficult to find a local angle. Trade coverage included
Computing, Computer Weekly and Machinery Market.
The stories put out by PA led to coverage in the Express, Daily Mail,
Daily Star, Financial Times and ES Magazine. There were also interviews
on London News Direct, BBC Business Breakfast, GMTV and BBC Radio
From March to mid-May the South Australian Government’s London office
received around 6,000 requests for information about emigrating to
Adelaide, ten times the total number for the previous year.
This campaign shows the value of having good contacts. Using the Daily
Mail and PA to generate interest from the public and media paid off. The
extra mileage given by the election was fortuitous, but was well
The aim was to generate enquiries and this was achieved, with five times
the target number. What needs to be determined now is the quality of
Client: State Government of South Australia
PR Team: Peter Prowse Associates
Campaign: Immigration South Australia
Timescale: March - May 1997
Cost: pounds 7,000