CG has carried out a number of award-winning campaigns for the organisers of Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) show, RIBEX, over several years.
With its proven track record for exceeding client expectations, CG was brought in to carry out PR and media relations during the most important year of the show's evolution.
Carswell Gould (CG) was briefed by the organisers of The Powerboat & RIB Show to use PR and social media to launch the new show and promote it regionally and nationally to ensure a high take up of exhibitors and volume of visitors to the show throughout May 11 to 13.
All work had to take place within a budget of one day per month.
Tactics and results
Launch of new show
CG launched the new show to press in September 2011, which allowed organisers to reach potential exhibitors in good time to make bookings.
The press releases on the renaming and relocation of the show were carefully worded to highlight the benefits of the new venue and position the show as bigger and better than ever before. It also aimed to position the event on the same level as some of the UK's biggest and most established boat shows in order to give the event gravitas.
Two separate releases were produced, one targeted at potential visitors and one at potential exhibitors. Key messages were adapted for each in order to achieve the specific aims.
CG regularly distributed press releases to a wide range of media throughout the campaign. Media targeted included local, regional, national and trade outlets across online, print and broadcast.
The result was regular, sustained and positive coverage across a wide range of publications throughout the campaign.
Distribution of the releases resulted in 73 pieces of coverage over the five month campaign with a total EEV (Estimated Editorial Value) of £359,220 and growing.
Examples of media where coverage was achieved included:
- All at Sea
- Boating Business
- Motorboats & Yachting
- The Portsmouth News
- BBC Radio Solent H20 Show
- Jack FM
- Heart FM
- Wave 105 FM
- The Southern Daily Echo
CG negotiated a deal with 106 Jack FM to be the radio partner for the show. The station was chosen due to its listener profile being on target with potential show visitors and its reach linking geographically to the show's target audience - from Poole to the other side of Chichester.
The partnership resulted in heavy promotion of the show on the station, what's on mentions, news bulletins and a slot on the show on the Saturday morning.
In addition, Jack FM's attendance at the event gave exhibitors the chance to be interviewed live in Gunwharf Quays' central square about their products.
As well as promoting the show to an online audience, it gave exhibitors the opportunity to promote their products and services to this growing community in advance of the show.
Key results included:
- 720 followers on Twitter (increase of 91% since last year)
- 104 likes on Facebook (increase of 130% on last year) and promotion of exhibitor's news through these channels
- Developing communication channels with individual users which can be used in promotion of future shows
- Providing a platform for the exhibitors and visitors to share their opinions and comments
This resulted in sustained coverage of the show throughout the campaign and also saw The Portsmouth News send reporters and photographers to the event throughout the weekend. In total, there were 17 stories within the Portsmouth News about the show. BBC Radio Solent's H20 Show also ran a live broadcast from the show on the first evening, opening up potential visitors for the rest of the weekend.
- More than 70 pieces of media coverage about the show in the lead up to and during the event.
- 75,700 visitors to the show over the weekend.
- Increase in size of social media communities and a wider platform to start from next year.
- Social media activity allowed exhibitors to promote their products to potential visitors ahead of the show.
- An increase in interaction from social media users regarding the show this year.
- Strong relationships forged with key media, resulting in a higher level of coverage and key contacts for next year.
"Carswell Gould's public relations work for the inaugural, Suzuki sponsored, Powerboat & RIB Show held at Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth this May, was critical to the ultimate success of this event. Over 75,000 people visited Gunwharf Quays over the three day show and besides exposing the world of powerboating to the general public in an interactive and creative manner, the Powerboat & RIB Show attracted a healthy number of serious minded buyers of boats and boating equipment.
"Carswell Gould's role in creating awareness of the show, both pre-event and during the show itself, was undertaken via a sustained six month campaign which targeted not only at the marine sector but also the region's populace. The latter resulted in exposure via local newspapers and publications, radio and TV, internet services and social media. Beneficial results were also gained by Carswell Gould drawing upon their existing relationships within the media to forge complimentary media alliances for the show.
"The thoroughness and pro-active nature of their work, as well as their close communication at every stage of the campaign with both ourselves as client and in turn our sponsors Suzuki and Gunwharf Quays, all resulted in Carswell Gould providing a service which guarantees their being awarded the contract to be the sole communications company for the 2013 Powerboat & RIB Show." - Hugo Montgomery-Swan, Managing Director, Powerboat & RIB Show