CAMPAIGNS: Shipshape PR is good for World - Product PR

The World, a cruiser with luxury apartments costing up to around pounds 3.5 million, is due to set sail in three years. If all goes to plan the floating home for 700 or so wealthy seafarers will not stop but sail from port to port. The PR challenge was to sell this idea.

The World, a cruiser with luxury apartments costing up to around

pounds 3.5 million, is due to set sail in three years. If all goes to

plan the floating home for 700 or so wealthy seafarers will not stop but

sail from port to port. The PR challenge was to sell this idea.



Objectives



To achieve maximum awareness and credibility of the cruise liner to a

targeted audience without too much advertising.



Tactics



The team decided that raising awareness of The World by gaining

editorial coverage was the best way to meet their objectives. ’The PR

team felt heavy advertising would cheapen the product,’ says Bryn

Freberg, a senior adviser at Geelmuydem/Kiese. ’Journalists give

credibility,’ he says.



’They have integrity, so editorial is much stronger than an

advertisement which is paid communication.’



They targeted glossy lifestyle and property magazines, major European

and US newspapers. But the two-strong team were careful because they

were treading on new ground, says Freberg, who is working with Liv-Julie

Sordal, ResidenSea communications co-ordinator. The World is a unique

project, so there was nothing to compare it with. The campaign included

a brochure and presentation video with animated 3-D images and details

of the concept.



Freberg says ’PR need not always be a long-term strategy vehicle. In

this case it is also a tactical short-term one as every time we have a

hit with the media, people are getting direct-related leads and calling

us for details.’



Their approach to selling-in the story was successful, and they won good

coverage. The problem was that readers needed further information on

contacts.



The team then decided to change tack on advertising. Advertisements were

placed in the Financial Times, but not on the same day as the articles

appeared. ’That could be seen as too pushy,’ says Freberg.



This campaign is truly international, and the team worked with New York

PR firm Lou Hammond. They are now looking to assign agencies in France,

Monaco, Spain, Portugal and Germany. ’We need advice on the ground and

lieutenants to fight local wars for us,’ says Freberg.



Results



The PR team aimed for coverage of 100 features in the major media titles

in the half year to December 1997. They ended up with 1,200. This

included coverage on major broadcast networks such as the BBC and

NBC.



Print coverage was heaviest in Europe and the US. It included articles

with pictures in the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Times, the Evening

Standard and the Daily Mail. US press coverage went from New York to Los

Angeles.



Verdict



The decision to go with a PR-only campaign can pay off, but in this case

advertising was needed. Charles Weston-Baker, an agent with FDP Savills

which is selling the apartments says: ’The campaign could have done with

a little more global advertising. Press coverage gives more credibility

but there is a real need for advertising as a response mechanism for

people to obtain details.’



Having said that, a great deal of awareness has been obtained and 60 of

the 250 apartments have been sold. Whether advertising has helped or

hindered press coverage remains to be seen.



Client: ResidenSea

PR Team: Geelmuydem/ Kiese, based in Norway

Campaign: The World, a luxury non-stop cruiser

Timescale: June 1997 - ongoing

Cost: Undisclosed



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