From trains to tinsel… a year in PR at Social Communications
Much has been made of the turbulent 12 months we’ve all had. For many reasons, 2022 was an exciting year, with some semblance of ‘normal life’ returning post-pandemic, the Lionesses celebrating glory and people showing their appreciation at the Platinum Jubilee. But the year was shadowed by difficult circumstances, from the death of Her Majesty to the ongoing energy crisis, which affected people and businesses in turn.
Constantly scanning the news is part-and-parcel of working in PR, so navigating the changing media landscape of the last year – and the two that preceded it – has been challenging at times. But it’s also inspired us to be resourceful and creative, and at Social Communications we were fortunate to work with forward-thinking clients with positive stories to tell in 2022.
From delivering high-profile campaigns to securing stellar media coverage, our pros have been spreading the word about everything from leisure destinations to property deals and R&D. Here are some highlights…
Marking incredible milestones at the world’s only remaining Georgian cloth hall, The Piece Hall
Bringing in a UK-first art installation, reaching the 10.5 million-visitor milestone, launching a bespoke gin and delivering a jam-packed Christmas programme were just some of the defining events for the iconic Grade I-listed building last year.
We shared consumer news by helping to secure over 200 pieces of coverage across print, online and broadcast media, from a local to national level. Stand-out moments included helping to land a hit in The Times ahead of the Mela; an interview for a piece in The Guardian about the film industry in Calderdale; a double-page spread looking at the venue’s impact on tourism in the Daily Express; the lead image in a piece on free cultural days out in the i; and a live BBC Breakfast broadcast from the venue the week before Christmas.
Providing strategic support for Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Marketing Cheshire
A strategic approach to communications is key to achieving results that resonate with the right audiences. With this in mind, we’ve supported our North-West client by engaging local and regional media with work they’re delivering to benefit the area’s businesses and economy.
Milestones included promoting the consultation launch for the LEP’s Sustainable and Inclusive Growth Commission plans, sharing news around Marketing Cheshire’s 2022 awards and encouraging local people to celebrate the Jubilee. We’ve secured coverage in the likes of Cheshire Live, North-West Business Insider and BBC Radio Merseyside, and we’re now looking ahead to activity in the works for 2023.
Spreading foodie news from the UK’s fastest-growing market and food hall operations company, Market Asset Management (MAM)
We’ve shouted about fantastic food halls and transformational work going on at markets across the UK, securing national, trade and regional press coverage for our client. Highlights include this feature in The Yorkshire Post, looking at the impact that Doncaster Fish Market was having on the city it serves after its success at the Great British Market Awards.
We’re also proud to be working with MAM’s new sister company, Market Curators, which is a consultancy partnership for modern markets and food halls in the UK, Europe and beyond. Watch this space for more from them this year!
Promoting public and private sector partnership with the 11 northern LEPs, the NP11
The northern agenda is close to our hearts, so it was great to continue supporting the NP11’s business-led approach to driving regional prosperity.
The Convention of the North with NP11 is a key milestone in the communications calendar, and last year saw business and political leaders gather in Liverpool to hear from Rt Hon Michael Gove and other influential figures. We managed the media, helping secure the attendance of over 15 reporters; attract over 10 interviews for key stakeholders; and land 62 total pieces of coverage. And scoring social media success, the event generated a 3,212% rise in tweet impressions vs the previous Convention.
We’re now looking forward to (and busy preparing for!) this year’s Convention on 25 January at Manchester Central.
Highlighting a community’s proud industrial heritage through the Crewe Heart of Rail campaign
We also supported Cheshire East Council’s bid for Crewe, a historic railway town at the heart of the country’s rail network, to become home to the proposed Great British Railways headquarters.
The campaign included everything from PR and out-of-home advertising to the creation of a moving documentary-style film inspired by personal connections to Crewe’s heritage. And that’s not to mention the memorable ‘Rail Idol’ talent contest featuring an appearance from legendary record producer Pete Waterman – and a collective rendition of ‘Hey Crewe’ to the tune of that infamous song.
We landed 128 pieces of online coverage and helped secure great social media traction – but more than this, the campaign saw the town come together with a united sense of pride for Crewe’s past and present – and optimism for its future.
Tapping into trade press opportunities with Caddick Developments
Delivering exceptional results for our longstanding private sector client, we also generated a 50% year-on-year increase in coverage for the Yorkshire-headquartered developer.
From student accommodation plans to funding for logistics schemes, we’ve been busy drafting B2B press releases and hitting phone lines to ensure quality cut-through in influential titles like Property Week, Place North West and React News.
Celebrating success for Civic Engineers
The built environment sector is one of our specialisms, and we’ve supported our engineering client to spread the word about how their work in this space benefits places and people. A highlight was inclusion in this Raconteur piece about diversity in the industry, as well as landing a significant profile piece in The Yorkshire Post for one of the business’ co-founders.
We’ve also shared news around expansion, growth and appointments, securing well-deserved recognition for the fantastic year that the business has had.
Forward-thinking PR for not-for-profit membership organisation, Glass Futures
We became PR and communications partner for Glass Futures, which is behind an exciting £54m pioneering research facility due to open in St Helens this year.
It’s an exciting brief, as the project is trailblazing in the decarbonisation space; we’re helping them promote the world’s first openly accessible, commercially available, multi-disciplinary glass melting facility. It’s capable of producing up to 30 tonnes of glass per day in a purposefully designed research and development furnace, with provision for research and development trials to decarbonise the global glass and foundation industries.
Sharing meaningful initiatives from award-winning social enterprise, The Growth Company
We also supported important activity from The Growth Company and GC Business Growth Hub, with some of our work throughout the year covered in trade, hyperlocal, regional, national print and broadcast media, including The Times, BBC Radio Manchester, Asian Sunday and the Northern Agenda.
This included supporting GC Business Growth Hub’s #HereForBusiness campaign for businesses impacted by the cost-of-living crisis and current economic circumstances, as well as The Race Ethnicity And Cultural Heritage (REACH) Mission, a four-day transatlantic trade mission to Chicago aimed at black, Asian and mixed background tech entrepreneurs.
Now, we’re looking forward to another interesting year of telling stories, engaging people and improving lives. To find out more about what we do, please contact managing director, Pete Wrathmell, at email@example.com