Breathing life back into the UK’s High Streets

Challenge

Business in the Community (BITC), the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, launched the Healthy High Streets programme in April 2014 to bring corporate support to 100 High Streets across the UK.

The initiative seeks to create 3,000 jobs, increase footfall by 10% and reduce empty property units by 20% over a three year period in 100 UK towns. By June 2014, with the backing of founding partners Boots, the Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer and Santander, 33 towns had been selected for the programme.

A year later, BITC was ready to announce the 34 new locations chosen to receive support from Healthy High Streets and the next set of corporate partners that would be providing bespoke, tailored support to the towns / cities. The charity commissioned Speed Communications to carry out an intensive regional media relations campaign to communicate this news.

 Solution

 Working closely with Business in the Community’s in-house media team, Speed identified and compiled a detailed package of content needed to maximise media outreach, including:

  • Case studies of locations successful during 2014
  • Human interest stories
  • Data and stats (impact on footfall, job creation and vacant properties)
  • Photography
  • Before and after shots of high streets / premises from 2014
  • Individual business owners
  • Key spokespeople
  • Case studies of some of the latest locations to be selected
  • Reasons for applying
  • Anticipated benefits
  • Overall figure on the value of the support leveraged through the programme to date (£x worth of time / resource in the next year)

Following this, Speed undertook a tailored and targeted media sell-in across the UK, from Truro all the way to the Orkney Islands, issuing the news under embargo the day before the announcement went live.

Results

 The campaign generated:

  • 123 pieces of coverage
  • Audience reach of nearly three million
  • Front page articles in the Dorset Echo, South Wales Guardian and Western Morning News
  • Engagement with local Chambers of Commerce and LEPs
  • BBC interviews from Derby and Northampton to the Orkney Islands
  • Call to action to contact Business in the Community for more information featured in over half of all coverage

“Speed Communications are a real pleasure to work with and really get the job done. The team provided invaluable, insightful advice to help us maximise the coverage potential of our media announcement.

“Crucially, they asked all the right questions at briefing stage, ensuring that they could genuinely act as an extension of our team – leading to impressive coverage results which exceeded expectations.

“Not only did they generate over 100 pieces of positive coverage across the UK, we’ve also been able to establish relationships with key media on the high streets agenda that will benefit us throughout the life cycle of the project. We look forward to working with Speed again in the future.”

Ochuko Adekoya, Head of Media, Business in the Community

123 pieces of coverage