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Meadowhall

Public Relations

Client: Meadowhall Shopping Centre  

Brief: Consumer PR – WINNER PR WEEK AWARD

Great consumer PR requires open-minded clients, buckets of imagination and plenty of initiative. A partnership with Meadowhall Shopping Centre enabled NC Group member, MK PR to roll out an internationally acclaimed PR stunt, picking up PR industry national and Retail industry national awards as a result 

Below is a precis of how MK PR, a member of The NC Group, made this happen…

BRIEF FROM CLIENT:
In Spring 2014 Meadowhall Shopping Centre launched an online survey entitled Tell Meadowhall, which was hosted on the Centre’s official website and intended to gather ‘in-the-moment’ feedback to support the Centre’s ongoing drive to improve customer experience.  

The survey was designed to empower the Meadowhall team to make immediate and direct improvements, as well as drive longer term investment decisions. It was one of the UK’s very first programmes of its kind.

The core brief from the client to retained agency MK PR was to raise awareness of the Tell Meadowhall mechanic, within the consumer arena, positioning the Centre as one that listens; reacts to feedback and places customer service at the heart of all it does.  
 
STRATEGY:

MK PR wanted to develop a story board to ignite press and consumer awareness in order to aid awareness and position the Shopping Centre as a family and customer service focused facility. 

This opportunity was spotted in the form of a letter written to the Centre Director by ten-year-old schoolgirl Chloe Nash-Lowe…. 

Chloe wrote the letter as part of her school project to complain about how ‘slow shoppers’ can hold up her and her mum when they are in the Centre shopping. Chloe suggested that the Centre should implement an ‘overtaking lane’ for those who want to race from store to store. A press story was born!

ROLL OUT:

MK PR invited Chloe, her family and her teacher to the Centre as a thank you for her letter. 

Based on the content of the letter MK PR worked with the Meadowhall team to ‘stunt trial’ a motorway-style lane system on the malls, inviting Chloe as guest of honour to test out the system.  

Roadside style signage was laid out across a busy stretch of the Centre for Chloe and her guests to - quite literally – road test. Furthermore, the mall ‘theatre’ added great impact for press photography and broadcast purposes.

OUTCOME:
The Meadowhall Fast and Slow Lane trials sparked national debate with audiences of all ages engaging in discussions via Facebook, Twitter, forums and even live radio phone -ins, as to how they should work and if indeed they were necessary. Priceless! 

The story quickly gained media momentum featuring in all the national daily titles including The Times, The Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph along with top glossy magazines Elle, Pick Me Up and Closer.

In total the story has received coverage in more than 150 print and online publications from as far afield as the USA and Canada, with extensive broadcast coverage spanning from local station BBC Radio Sheffield through to BBC Scotland and Capital FM. The broadcast media were also inspired by the story, with presenters from BBC Look North and ITV Calendar attending the event and covering the trial and key interviews on their news bulletins.

CREATIVITY/ORGINALITY: 
The Meadowhall fast/slow lanes were a UK first, capturing the imagination and attention of all key media. Chloe’s letter had suggested that slow shoppers were a hurdle for her while out shopping, so MK PR turned this on its head managing a PR stunt and media campaign to help solve the problem, providing a strong platform to position the Centre as a leader in customer service and consumer awareness. Each media mention reiterated the core messages, aligning to the new Tell Meadowhall online survey. Job done!

BUDGET:

   Props (vinyls) £420
   Video/photography £50
   TOTAL £470

Over £500K of PR coverage was gained supporting key messages as a result of the campaign.