CAMPAIGNS: A fresh approach to an old subject - Corporate PR

Sanders and Sidney is a career consultancy which helps those who have been made redundant. Colette Hill Associates (CHA) has worked with the firm for more than three years and research about major employment issues forms the majority of its work for the firm. Studies have been undertaken every six months and have covered subjects such as ageism and the loss of loyalty in the workplace.

Sanders and Sidney is a career consultancy which helps those who

have been made redundant. Colette Hill Associates (CHA) has worked with

the firm for more than three years and research about major employment

issues forms the majority of its work for the firm. Studies have been

undertaken every six months and have covered subjects such as ageism and

the loss of loyalty in the workplace.



Retirement was identified as a topic for debate and a hook for

publicising Sanders and Sidney early retirement services. The premise

was that early retirement has undergone a major image change as

increasing numbers of people are leaving conventional employment, not

necessarily to stop working but to do something different.



Objectives



To position Sanders and Sidney among human resource directors and other

board members as a leading provider of outplacement and career

management services. To promote Sanders and Sidney managing director

Frances Cook as a regular commentator on key employment issues.



Tactics



CHA worked with Sanders and Sidney and research associate Sue Pedley to

develop a research methodology. This included interviews with opinion

formers such as John Cridland, director of human resources policy at the

CBI and Clive Fletcher, professor of occupational psychology at

Goldsmiths College, University of London.



Sanders and Sidney fielded clients who had experience of early

retirement for case studies and their stories were included in press

releases. Questionnaires were also sent to Sanders and Sidney company

clients. The findings of the research were then compiled to form a

report named ’Redefining Retirement’.



CHA decided to launch the report with management writer Richard Donkin

on 3 December and offered first run of the story to the Financial

Times.



It also negotiated a preview of the report on Radio 4’s Shoptalk on 2

December and arranged for Frances Cook and pensions specialist David

Callund (another CHA client) to be interviewed alongside Richard

Donkin.



Results



Shoptalk devoted its entire programme on 2 December to the subject of

retirement and the report was formally launched in the Financial Times

the following morning.



Frances Cook was interviewed by Sky News and BBC Business Breakfast -

the footage for which was picked up by BBC 2’s Working Lunch. Both

Business Breakfast and Sky used case histories to illustrate the

story.



Articles followed in the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, the Sunday

Telegraph and the Independent on Sunday and a major news analysis piece

was published in the leading personnel publication People

Management.



Regional radio coverage followed on Radio Cumbria, BBC Southern Counties

Radio and BBC Radio Humberside.



Verdict



CHA gained a lot of coverage by putting a fresh spin on a potentially

dull subject. The story caught the attention of the target media which

gave it full coverage and the use of case histories appealed to

broadcasters who often want more than a ’talking head’.



Frances Cook was able to build links with print and broadcast media and

as David Callund was introduced to the same media, his expertise in

pensions consulting added an extra financial dimension to the story.



Client: Sanders and Sidney

PR Team: Colette Hill Associates and in-house marketing department

Campaign: Early retirement

Timescale: June to November 1998

Budget: approximately pounds 10,000



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