A complex brief from our client allowed us to demonstrate our PR skills in consumer marketing, community relations and stakeholder engagement. There were three objectives.
- In line with the client’s aim to deliver social regeneration, win support in the neighbourhood
- Attract affluent professionals to live in an eco housing development in an area with a reputation for gun crime
- Promote an exemplar project to the property sector so others will follow
To win the hearts and minds of people in the Meadows, Nottingham, where the development would be built, we worked closely with the community group and Civic Society, arranging site visits and consulting about plans. We promoted low cost mortgages in regional news media and neighbourhood newsletters (several locals took these up). A local model maker was commissioned, and we arranged for schoolchildren to paint flowerpots for their new neighbours.
We made a huge contribution to the commercial success of the development with more than 50 print and broadcast hits plus targeted social media, including four cover stories. An entry survey showed 90 per cent of visitors at the opening weekend were delivered by newspaper and regional tv coverage, and the development of all 38 homes was sold completely “off plan” – unprecedented.
This astonishing success confounded industry critics. We made the most of it by promoting the development in national property media, and by successfully entering the scheme for prestigious awards. It has now become the catalyst for three similar developments and led to partnerships for our client with major contractors, social housing providers, national and local government and national retailers.