Positioning Edinburgh Park
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report
CEO

Positioning Edinburgh Park

Weber Shandwick was appointed in June 2000 to raise awareness of the Park amongst local audiences and potential occupiers, particularly those from other key European centres.

Paul Holmes

 

Edinburgh Park is rapidly establishing itself as one of the UK’s premier business parks because of its tenant list, environment, location and quality of architectural design.  The first buildings were completed on the business park in 1995 and the Park is currently being expanded.  Occupiers include Scottish Equitable, HSBC, UDV and Intelligent Finance.  

Weber Shandwick was appointed in June 2000 to achieve the following:

  • To raise awareness of the Park amongst local audiences and potential occupiers, particularly those from other key European centres, Dublin, London, Frankfurt, by focussing on key USP’s of quality, location, environment, facilities
  • To develop more effective communications between occupiers and the management company, New Edinburgh Limited (joint venture between Miller Group and EDI Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of the City Council)

Key audiences included: occupiers – existing and potential; property agents (UK and European); business community; general public

STRATEGY

The PR strategy focused on the following elements:

  • The creation of a visual mechanic with words to support key messages about the Park and build the brand
  • Maximising media relations opportunities 
  • Developing communication mechanics to stimulate communication amongst tenants 

BRAND BUILDING AND AWARENESS:

The campaign rejected the stereotypical corporate commercial property imagery (pictures of buildings, architecture and business scenes).  Instead 12 strong visuals were selected to illustrate the benefits of working at Edinburgh Park by using different parts of the human body.  The four core images (see support material) each illustrate a different benefit of working at Edinburgh Park:  

Postcards  

  • Funky and fun, eye-catching postcards using the images were distributed in pubs and restaurants throughout the central belt of Scotland
  • Targeted at business people to build brand awareness and communicate the benefits of Edinburgh Park
  • Used as invitations to key events

Calendar

  • Produced in CD box format, each month illustrating a different aspect of the Park.  
  • Distributed as a direct mail tool to business contacts, including top 500 businesses in Scotland.  As a ‘desk tool’ it can sustain awareness of Edinburgh Park throughout the year whilst raising awareness of Edinburgh Park’s key benefits in a creative way 

Tattoos

  • ‘Temporary’ tattoos feature corporate ‘tree’ logo 
  • To be worn and distributed by the Edinburgh Park team when they attend MIPIM, the international property conference and exhibition held in Cannes. France, which attracts over 12,000 real estates professionals from 60 countries.  

Media relations

The media relations campaign aimed to raise awareness of Edinburgh Park through local UK and international trade media.  Through targeted press releases, photocalls, and exclusive one-to-one briefings, Weber Shandwick achieved widespread quality coverage that communicated Edinburgh Park’s corporate and consumer messages.  

Tactics included:

  • One-to-one briefings set up with key trade media to gain profiles and industry comment
  • Media monitoring to enable proactive statements to be issued to respond to relevant topics i.e. transport or environmental issues 
  • Corporate press releases announcing new tenants occupiers and new developments

Photocalls/stories highlighting colourful and quirky aspects of the Park generated coverage outside the commercial property pages, enabling a wider audience to read about the Park and its benefits, for example:  ‘swans arrival at Edinburgh Park’ - emphasising the Park’s attractive natural environment; the Park’s public arts programme highlighting commitment to enhancing a cultural environment.; ‘Poetry in Motion’ - a local poet etching his poems on an Edinburgh Park bus shelter reinforced the unusual tactics Edinburgh Park is using to create an interesting working environment (photograph featured on front cover of Architect’s Journal)

Tenant Relations

It was important to get the tenants on side to act as ambassadors for the Park

Park Communications Group:  meet bi-monthly to discuss latest activity, set objectives, plan group PR initiatives and promotions.

Futures Committee:  a forum to discuss Park issues that impact on everyday working lives, e.g. environmental, security and transport.  

Electronic Communications

  • Intranet:  Bulletin boards on the site containing interesting news items, housekeeping information and press cuttings
  • Online Newsletter
  • www.edinburghparkXchange: e-mail address set up to receive and answer comments

Boardroom Lunches

Newsletter

New Staff/Occupiers Guides

Car Share Matchmaker

Informal Events: Beerfest; Park pub quiz; five-a-side football tournament; family fun day; curling league

CREATIVITY

Through the strong brand awareness tools, including the tattoos, postcards and creative calendars, we have surprised and captured the attention of key audiences.  Press releases not only focused on the corporate element of Edinburgh Park and business wins but also highlighted the softer more tangible aspects of the Park – natural environment and cultural projects.  This ensured that key audiences view Edinburgh Park outside the business pages and that the ‘quality of life’ aspects of the Park are communicated.

Existing tenants, senior management and employees, feel part of a community.  The new newsletter - ‘e-park’ - is now regarded as a ‘must read’ magazine which contains information of real relevance alongside more fun aspects that bring all tenants together as one unit.  

RESULTS

Key evaluation of campaign mentioned by client as proven success:

  • Awareness of Park has risen significantly.  Four buildings planned for Site A have been pre-let or sold to major international organisations – one of whom said they phoned for info because of a pub postcard!
  • Media coverage in national publications has increased significantly with Edinburgh Park/agents receiving soundbites as voice of authority within sector features
  • Direct responses from tenants on Park have increased from 3 to 360 (total workforce 6,000, so still some way to go!).  Attendance at Beerfest event was best ever turnout
  • Tracking being carried out on postcard mailshots
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