Selling the urban regeneration of an English city

hopwood was the PR and marketing communications consultancy service provider for Leicester Regeneration Company – developing strategies, building partnerships and delivering the programme (since LRC had no in-house marketing staff). Working with LRC for five years hopwood consistently increased media coverage and built LRC’s reputation regionally, nationally and internationally with chief executive John Nicholls frequently called upon as an expert commentator on regeneration and renewal issues in national media.

  • 1000+ press cuttings in the UK media
  • 72 national press cuttings
  • Ten fold increase in website visitors

“I was CEO of the Leicester Regeneration Company, where for several years Hopwood were our marketing and PR consultants. Their strength is an ability to get totally in tune with the client’s working environment and thought processes, to propose original and useful suggestions based on those perceptions, and to carry them out with verve and efficiency.”
– John Nicholls, former CEO, Leicester Regeneration Company

Press releases issued by hopwood on behalf of Leicester Regeneration Company generated record editorial coverage in 2008, reaching 9.1 million readers, up from 5.2 million in 2007. Leicester featured 131 times in key national property press, more often than any but six other, much larger UK cities, and more often than its East Midlands rivals, Nottingham and Derby.

Regeneration PR

Over hopwood’s association with LRC, visitors to the website increased ten fold from fewer than 5,000 a year to 51,730.

LRC’s audiences were local people (because economic regeneration is for them) and the property industry (because developers deliver physical regeneration). Other audiences included government, business and inward investors. Key issues were overcoming scepticism, enlisting partner support, reaching disadvantaged, culturally diverse communities, making the most of successes and beating the competition.

hopwood created a communications strategy that aimed to educate people about LRC’s role, consult, promote Leicester, work with partners and build on success. This was done through the media, printed literature, community groups, bus tours, video, a web site and social media activities. We targeted the county via lifestyle media and students via university media outlets. (Keeping graduates in the city was one of the regeneration masterplan’s aims.) We raised Leicester’s reputation in the national property press to among the highest of any city.

In addition we co-promoted regeneration projects with developers such as Hammerson (Highcross) and Goodman (Colton Square) on behalf of LRC, helping both developer and client to maximise coverage. hopwood managed a property industry database, and distributed newsletters, an annual review, e bulletins and video for LRC via it.