Corporate and business comms (trade PR)
Brief and objectives
Fairway Foodservice is a buying and marketing organisation, which operates on behalf of wholesalers based in the UK, Ireland and Spain. Founded in 1984 by five frozen food wholesale distribution companies, it has grown from a collective turnover of £7m in 1984 to £650.5m in 2016.
Outwrite created a PR strategy with the following aims:
- Build awareness of the Fairway brand
- Enhance the reputation of the organisation
- Shape the attitudes of target decision makers
- Further build trust between Fairway and its current members
- Help ensure that prospective members thought of the buying group in a positive manner
Fairway’s organisational goals included
- Attracting new members
- Retaining members
Outwrite liaised closely with Fairway’s senior management team to identify key topics, priorities and strong angles for the news releases and expert commentary pieces.
We devised and implemented a media relations campaign to compliment the in-house marketing activity.
The campaign ran from 1 June 2016 to 30 April 2017.
The SMART objectives:
Media relations – trade
- Achieve an average of six pieces of trade coverage per month
Media relations – local and regional
- Average three pieces of local and regional coverage per member press release
Objectives and planning
Through desktop research and conversations with Fairway and its current members, we identified the trade media most likely to be read by potential members.
During our wider research we discovered:
- Potential members like to see how current members have experienced success by being a part of the group eg increased turnover and profitability
- Having access to high-quality products at competitive prices was a vital factor
- But potential and current members also seek added value such as marketing and market research
- Several current members wanted PR activity for their own businesses as part of their Fairway membership
From this we identified that our stakeholders were:
- Trade media
- Local and regional media (for member stories)
- Potential members
- Current members
Numbers and figures
Media coverage with key messages
Pieces of trade coverage
Implementation of tactics
A comprehensive PR and comms plan was created and approved by the client, with a visibility plan (story ideas) covering the first six months of the campaign.
The PR plan was fluid, with items moved if, for example, a strong news story happened such as a new member joining.
Each month we carried out two media activities. These included press releases covering latest Fairway news, expert commentary, and member news, as well as identification of feature and comment opportunities to pitch to individual editors and correspondents.
Member retention and acquisition
The group grew from 17 to 19 members, with both new members joining in the latter parts of the PR campaign.
Media relations – trade
- Achieved 99 pieces of trade coverage (average – nine per month against a target of six)
Media relations – regional
- Achieved 17 pieces of regional editorial coverage on five press releases (average – 3.5 per release against a target of three)
Testimonial from Richard Ellison, marketing manager at Fairway Foodservice
“Outwrite has exceeded our expectations by securing dozens of pieces of trade coverage.
“The range of coverage is also impressive. A good mix of latest news articles, expert commentary pieces, and feature contributions is helping Fairway achieve its business and marketing objectives.
“We allow Outwrite to speak to our suppliers and members without permission, which shows the complete trust we have in the agency.
“Outwrite has shown a real commitment to being our PR agency and as well as attending events, the team has taken the time to get under the skin of our organisation.”
Fairway Foodservice was so pleased with the trade PR campaign, it commissioned Outwrite as its food PR agency for a further 12 months.
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