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					                                      SHEPHERDS BUSH
                                          VISITOR AUDIT AND
                                       TACTICAL MARKETING
                                         RECOMMENDATIONS




Report funded by a partnership of Association of London
Government and Visit London                                   October 2006

                                                              Report written by:
                                                              The Tourism Company
                                                              5 Market Yard Mews
                                                              194 Bermondsey Street
                                                              London
                                                              SE1 3TQ
                                                              Email: London@thetourismcompany.com
CONTENTS


1     INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................... 1
2     A VISITOR EXPERIENCE AUDIT ................................................................ 2
    2.1     Getting there ......................................................................................... 2
    2.2     General atmosphere and first impressions ............................................ 2
    2.3     Heritage and history .............................................................................. 3
    2.4     Shopping ............................................................................................... 4
    2.5     Eating out .............................................................................................. 4
    2.6     Bars and pubs ....................................................................................... 5
    2.7     Arts and entertainment .......................................................................... 5
    2.8     Events / attractions................................................................................ 6
    2.9     Developments in Shepherds Bush ........................................................ 6
3     CURRENT MARKETING .............................................................................. 8
    3.1     Marketing media.................................................................................... 8
    3.2     Tourism initiatives and organisation locally ........................................... 9
4     SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE ACTION ................................................... 10
    4.1     Defining target markets ....................................................................... 10
    4.2     Positioning Shepherds Bush ............................................................... 11
    4.3     Raising awareness, encouraging visits................................................ 12
    4.4     Developing the product ....................................................................... 18
APPENDIX 1: HOW TO SUBMIT EVENTS INFORMATION TO PA LISTINGS . 20
1 INTRODUCTION


This report sets out a number of tactical marketing recommendations for the
Shepherds Bush area of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
(LBHF). The report is a response to a brief drawn up by the Visitor Development
Officer at LBHF. In summary, the main points of the brief were:

•     Hammersmith and Fulham sees Shepherds Bush as a potential brand
•     There is high awareness but little understanding of the product
•     There are negative connotations with the destination
•     Business consultation in the area had suggested that a strong PR/
      marketing campaign is required

The Borough wishes to receive marketing advice on how to progress the “gritty
not grotty” imagery at low cost. Further discussion with the client has emphasised
the importance of the report concentrating on practical measures that can be
implemented within current staffing resources with only a possible modest uplift in
financial resources.

The brief is one of seven selected for progressing via a Visit London scheme to
offer free marketing surgeries to London Boroughs. The scheme is funded
through a grant made to Visit London by the Association of London Government.
The Tourism Company has been commissioned to undertake the marketing
surgeries on behalf of Visit London1.



.




1
    This report is based on three days consultancy, including one day on site


                                                                                1
2 A VISITOR EXPERIENCE AUDIT


This chapter presents a visitor experience audit of Shepherds Bush; how a visitor
might see the area and what it has to offer.


2.1 Getting there
Shepherds Bush is very easy to get to, with good public transport and road links.

The area is about 20 minutes tube ride from the West End and is served by the
Central and Hammersmith and City lines. Many bus routes serve the area with a
particular concentration of routes around Shepherds Bush Green.

The opening of the new whitecity development in 2008/9 will see further public
transport enhancements including a new overland rail station opened, a new tube
station on the Hammersmith and City line and a new bus interchange.


2.2 General atmosphere and first impressions
First impressions of Shepherds Bush are not good. A predominance of
nondescript shops set on wide, heavily trafficked streets create a less than
attractive environment. What should be one of the area’s major assets,
Shepherds Bush Green, is instead a largely unused space cut off by busy roads
on all three sides. Building work associated with the new whitecity shopping
centre development doesn’t help matters – adding further clutter to an already
cluttered street-scene

Despite these less than favourable first impressions, a closer inspection of the
area reveals a number of experiences that are more positive. These include the
multi-ethnic atmosphere with some genuinely distinctive shops, quirky bars, pubs
and cafes together with a strong night-time economy.

The area’s charms also appear well hidden from much of the media. Some
descriptions give the area short-shrift whilst others are more positive. The
negative view is reflected in Time Out’s Guide to London’s less-than flattering
view of the area:

   “Frankly it’s hardly worth bothering with Shepherds Bush. There’s the
   triangular green, an 8 acre path of grass hemmed in by traffic, the Bush
   Theatre, the Shepherds Bush Empire and that’s about it.”

However, Lonely Planet’s take on the area is more positive:

   “Today Shepherds Bush is a multi-ethnic place full of quirky cafes, bars and
   character. It won’t disappoint those looking for good venues to eat and drink
   in, especially since a slew of gastro-pubs have opened in recent years.”


                                                                              2
Interestingly, activity in the area gravitates towards the Green end of Shepherds
Bush. A number of factors are at play here - the nearby presence of the BBC, the
Shepherds Bush tube station, a few new bars and the West 12 shopping centre.
Away from this immediate vicinity, the area appears more dowdy with little
(except perhaps Shepherds Bush Market and the ethnic shops) to attract the
casual visitor to walk further up Goldhawk and Uxbridge Roads.


2.3 Heritage and history
From a visitor’s point of view, a distinction needs to be made between the historic
connections of an area and what it is actually possible to see on the ground
today. An area with many historical connections but few physical manifestations
offers a less attractive visitor proposition than an area with more physical legacy.
Shepherds Bush falls into the former category with a number of historic
connections but few physical remains. The area can trace its roots back to being
a resting point for shepherds on their way to Smithfield Market in the City of
London.

At the start of the twentieth century, the area’s White City Stadium hosted the
1908 Olympics at the same time as the Franco-British exhibition was held
celebrating the industrial achievements of France and Britain. Neither venue still
exists - the exhibition site later became the White City Estate, the borough’s
largest housing estate and the stadium was knocked down to be replaced by the
first phase of the BBC’s new headquarters, completed in 1990.

Perhaps the strongest suit for Shepherds Bush in terms of heritage is linked to
the world of popular entertainment. The BBC used to have many offices in
Shepherd's Bush, but all (with the exception of BBC Television Centre in Wood
Lane) have now been closed or re-located. They included the Lime Grove
Studios on the site of the previous film studios of Gaumont and Gainsborough
Pictures, Sulgrave House, Threshold and Union Houses and Kensington
House—now a hotel. Still present is the Shepherds Bush Empire, now a live
music venue but which was used by the BBC for many years to record such
shows as Wogan, That's Life!, Crackerjack and This is Your Life.

As well as its BBC links, Shepherds Bush has also been the stomping ground of
several important rock and roll groups, including Bush, The Clash, The Who and
the Sex Pistols all of whom grew up in Shepherd's Bush, as did (more recently)
rock singer Pete Doherty. Classical musicians Evelyn Glennie and Robert
Steadman have both lived in Shepherd's Bush.

Aside from musical heritage, the area has also been the venue for some notable
theatrical firsts, including the world premiere of Irvine Walsh’s Train Spotting at
the Bush Theatre.




                                                                               3
2.4 Shopping
At present, Shepherds Bush shopping is generally utilitarian in nature serving the
needs of the local community. However there are two main exceptions to this –
Shepherds Bush market and some of the ethnic shops. Time Out describes the
Market as:

    “an intriguing mix of just about everything you can think of from produce and
    fabrics to reggae music and wedding gowns.”

The guide also sets the market as the best known feature of the borough. As a
visitor experience, the market is a colourful place and a distinctive one – set out
in one very long line adjacent to the railway line. Despite its charm, the market
infrastructure looks somewhat tatty and is now in need of investment. The council
has had discussion with the Market’s owners, London Underground, but so far
nothing has come of these.

The second noteworthy retail experience to be found in Shepherds Bush is what
Time Out calls:

    “an impressive array of food shops on Uxbridge Road.”

This includes the Middle Eastern supermarket Al Abbas, the nut emporium
Nutcase, and Eastern European deli John & Sons. Some of these shops have
become the focus of a Middle Eastern Food guided tour. These free tours, funded
and promoted by the council have proved popular with the public and also gained
significant media coverage including features in Time Out.


2.5 Eating out
Shepherds Bush is not amongst the first division of eating areas within London
but it does have a strengthening reputation for its good array of ethnic restaurants
and the improving quality of the remainder of its restaurant offer. Time Out’s
publication London for Londoners says of the area’s restaurants:

    “Shepherds Bush has a fine spread of restaurants helped by the area’s
    racially mixed population and the increasing number of upwardly mobile
    residents. The latter have yet to make much visible impact on the district’s
    main streets, though notable exceptions include long standing Mod Euro bar
    restaurant Bush Bar and Grill on grimy Goldhawk Road. Also on Goldhawk
    Rd, boho haven Blah Blah Blah serves first rate vegetarian food; classic caff
    Harris’ Café Rest draws admirers for its 1950’s décor and huge portions.
    Down the road, modish Bush Garden Café is popular with local yummy-
    mummies.”

    “..Shepherds Bush is great for sampling world cuisines, ranging from Syrian
    (low budget high quality Abu Zaad to South East Asian (unassuming Thai
    Esarn Kheaw) via East European (Polish old timer Patio).”




                                                                               4
        “…Askew Road typifies the district’s forte in modest ethnic eateries: Adam’s
        Café (Tunisian) is worth a look”

Apart from its ethnic restaurants, the area is not attracting large numbers of
diners from far afield. However it is starting to take a bigger share of the
borough’s residents

Compared with neighbouring destinations, the Shepherds Bush eating out scene
has a more down-market image. It also lacks the pull of a well known restaurant
such as Hammersmith’s The River Café and it has a less well established
restaurant scene than Fulham.


2.6 Bars and pubs
As was the case with eating out, there is an impression that Shepherds Bush has
an improving reputation for its bars and pubs. This view is summed up nicely by
Time Out’s London for Londoners guide:

        “Once notable for very little other than a half decent music venue, Shepherd’s
        Bush is slowly liberating itself from the chain pubs and grotty boozers that
        once held sway here.”

Amongst the establishments that are contributing to this change in perception are
Defectors Weld (“Once a joyless chain pub but now a buzzing gastro-style
enterprise), Anglesea Arms (“this small corner pub has got the lot”), Albertines
(“gorgeous unaffected wine bar”), The Crown and Sceptre (“Ale lovers will be in
their element”) and Havelock Tavern (“one of London’s original gastropubs”)2.


2.7         Arts and entertainment
Shepherds Bush has a strong reputation for arts and entertainment but
particularly so in terms of music. The most famous venue is probably the
Shepherds Bush Empire. Built in 1903 as a music hall, the venue is now one of
London’s leading mid-sized music venues hosting rock, pop as well as other
music gigs. Smaller but equally well regarded is Bush Hall, a restored Edwardian
ballroom (complete with chandeliers) now used for a range of music concerts.
Popular as a venue for record industry showcase gigs - partly because of what
Time Out described as “a faded Edwardian treasure with a sense of coolly
shabby chic” - Coldplay, REM and The Corrs are amongst the roster of artists
that have played there.

Another venue that garners acclaim from cutting-edge aficionados is Ginglik. This
is a members’ club nestling under Shepherd’s Bush Green, in a former public
toilet. The place offers an eclectic mix of cutting-edge music and art events. Its
weekend club nights are very popular and on Tuesdays the venue runs a highly
respected comedy night.

2
    Quotes taken from Time Out London for Londoners (2006 edition) and Time Out Eating and Drinking (2006 edition).



                                                                                                            5
Shepherd Bush’s reputation as a cutting edge destination for music is
complemented by the Bush Theatre’s reputation as a leading venue for new
writing in theatre. It has been the first step into the big time for dozens of Britain's
best playwrights, including Stephen Poliakoff, Billy Roche and Sam Shepherd.
Challenging, disturbing, and original works are often accepted by this theatre, and
find their way to long West End runs.


2.8 Events / attractions
The only real visitor attractions in the traditional sense are the two BBC tours run
at BBC TV Centre. A general tour of the building has recently been joined by a
children-orientated CBBC tour that goes behind the scenes of Children’s BBC.

Queens Park Rangers football ground is located in the area but currently doesn’t
run tours. Nearby Olympia Exhibition Centre hosts major exhibitions and events.

The only event of any note is the Hammersmith and Fulham Festival. Taking
place over a month long period in March and April each year, the event uses
venues throughout the borough including the Shepherds Bush Empire.


2.9 Developments in Shepherds Bush
There are two main developments that could have a major effect on Shepherds
Bush.


Shepherds Bush Green
This chapter has already referred to the fact that Shepherds Bush Green is a
central focus for the area. Likewise, it has also pointed out that various issues
(e.g. restricted pedestrian flows, problem with drunks using the Green etc, safety
fears) mean that the area is currently not performing as an asset for the area.

In a bid to rectify this situation, the council (which owns and manages the land) is
currently promoting a £3.6m project to develop and implement improvement
plans for the area. It is hoped that work will commence in April 2007.


Whitecity
The complexion of shopping in Shepherds Bush is set to be radically changed by
the opening in 2008 of whitecity. Billed as the largest shopping centre in London,
this £1.5billion mixed use development will see 330 retailers, a cinema, gym,
health spas and library and 4,500 car parking spaces located on site. At present
it is unclear how whitecity will affect the current retail environment but a report
commissioned into the issue concluded that the area should work with the
developers to ensure that synergies between the shopping centre and the rest of
Shepherds Bush are maximised.



                                                                                  6
ISSUES ARISING FROM THE AUDIT
•   The nature of Shepherds Bush seems to be changing. Improving
    reputations for its pubs and restaurants together with its already
    established reputation for its nightlife, music and theatre venues are
    starting to impact on wider perceptions which have, up to recently,
    been largely negative.
•   Despite the possible positive shift in its fortunes, the pace of change
    has been slower than in other parts of London and it is not clear
    whether there is currently sufficient “critical mass” to make the area
    more of a draw. The increasingly affluent residents still tend to head to
    other areas for shopping, eating out etc.
•   There’s also a question mark over the physical look of the place. The
    area does not appear to have benefited from the regeneration that has
    happened in many other parts of London. Although there are long-term
    plans to improve the Green, currently it is far from the major asset it
    should be.
•   The multi-ethnic nature of the area and the shops servicing the various
    ethnic populations are a selling point but as a multi-ethnic destination it
    is does not have the profile of Hounslow, Green Street, Brixton or Brick
    Lane.
•   Shepherds Bush market is well known but unlikely to rival the better-
    known markets in London such as Brick Lane, Camden and Petticoat
    Lane.
•   The presence of the BBC and CBBC tours is a major strength but at
    present there is little to tempt these visitors to extend their stay in the
    area.
•   A major unknown is the impact that the large-scale whitecity
    development will have on the place. Optimists argue it will provide
    complementary attractions that will breathe further life into Shepherds
    Bush. Others say that it will “suck the life blood” out of the area with
    shoppers encouraged to shop, eat, drink and be entertained within the
    confines of the centre rather than venturing out into Shepherds Bush
•   Our brief referred to a desire to position the area as “gritty not grotty”
    and to build on branding studies that found the area to be perceived as
    edgy and cutting edge. We feel that these brand attributes are tenable
    but are being weakened by the physical quality of the streetscape. In
    short the area is in danger of being “grotty and gritty”




                                                                                  7
3 CURRENT MARKETING


3.1 Marketing media
There is a fair amount of information around to stimulate or inform a visit to
Shepherds Bush. The information we have come across is as follows:

•   Commercially produced guidebooks are an important source of
    information for both visitors to London and residents. As seen above,
    Shepherds Bush’s coverage in these guides is mixed. Some guides
    make no mention of the area (e.g. The Rough Guide to London) others
    offer negative views (e.g. Time Out Guide to London) whilst others
    provide a positive view (e.g. Lonely Planet, Time Out London for
    Londoners, Time Out Eating and Drinking)
•   The Totally London City Guide is a guide produced by Visit London
    designed to stimulate visits across London including outer London and
    places off the beaten track. Around 400,000 copies are produced
    aimed at both the domestic and international markets. Shepherds
    Bush coverage in the guide is patchy. It is not mentioned in the section
    London- area by area, nor is Shepherds Bush Market mentioned in the
    markets listings. However the boutique hotel K West does receive a
    mention in the accommodation section and the Bush Theatre is
    mentioned in the entertainment section
•   Go West is a folded 1/3 A4 leaflet listing a series of free guided walks
    across LBHF. Shepherds Bush is the focus of two of the eight walks
    listed. The Middle East Food tour visits a number of shops along the
    Uxbridge Road and also includes tastings at restaurants and cafes.
    The film tour visits locations used in films such as Calendar Girls;
    Maybe Baby and programmes such as Top of the Pops. The guided
    tours are also supported through locally distributed posters and PR
    activity
•   Shepherds Bush Map and Guide is, as the name suggests, a folded
    leaflet with map and listing of things to see and do and places of
    historical interest around Shepherds Bush. One of a series of three
    borough guides (the others cover Fulham and Hammersmith), this is
    an informative and useful guide produced by LBHF’s Visitor
    Development Project
•   Visitshepherdsbush.co.uk is the visitor-orientated website developed
    by the council’s Visitor Development Project. Launched in the summer
    of 2006, the site joined sister sites promoting Fulham and
    Hammersmith. The visitshepherdsbush.co.uk site contains a good
    level of content ranging from Things to do and Places to Stay to Eating
    and drinking to Sports and activities
•   An internet search for Shepherds Bush on Google produces the
    Shepherds Bush Empire website, the area’s listing in the on-line




                                                                                 8
    encyclopaedia Wikipedia but no reference to the
    visitshepherdsbush.co.uk website
•   PR activity has focussed around key initiatives such as the Middle
    Eastern Food tours. In October 2006, the Visitor Development Project
    is running a cultural familiarisation visit for staff within Visit London
•   A campaign themed around the area’s night-time economy is being
    actively considered


3.2 Tourism initiatives and organisation locally
•   The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has no tourism
    department as such but does offer support-in-kind to an LDA-funded
    Visitor Development Project designed to promote the borough to
    visitors. The Project employs a Visitor Development Officer and
    provides a marketing budget of approximately £50,000
•   A Visitor Strategy and Action Plan for the borough has been
    produced. It includes general marketing and product development
    initiatives and action specific to Shepherds Bush (e.g. PR aimed at
    BBC employees)
•   The Visitor Development Officer’s post was originally funded until
    March 2007, but LDA has recently stated that it will fund the Project
    (as part of the wider White City opportunity area) for two more years
•   As part of its ongoing dialogue with tourism businesses, in January
    2006, the Visitor Development Project consulted with businesses on
    possible ways to promote the Shepherds Bush area. The consultation
    aimed to draw together the bones of a marketing campaign, the main
    elements of which are reproduced below:
      −   Suggested target audiences: local employees, VFR, schools, business
          visitors, leisure visitors(specifically exhibition attendees and the youth
          market) and niche segments TnT’s (South African/ Australians), Middle
          Eastern
      −   Key messages: Push variety and develop campaigns based on urban,
          quirky, hip/cool. Cultural diversity is also to be developed as a theme.
          Move people away from perception of the area as grotty towards seeing
          it as cool / hip / edgy. Don’t mention safety
      −    Action points: A list of recommended restaurants and education
           campaigns to address perceptions of the area. A quarterly newsletter
           for the area was also suggested as was making more of existing events
           and festivals
•   The Visitor Development Project can call on the PR services of a
    public relations officer that has been assigned to develop the profile of
    projects funded through the White City Opportunities Fund. Access to
    this resource is limited due to the large number of projects which are
    serviced by this officer
•   The Borough also employs a Shepherds Bush Town Centre
    Manager, one of three located in the borough



                                                                                9
4 SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE ACTION


The following should not be seen as a fully-formed recommendations but as
suggestions and thoughts which could be further evaluated as part of the visitor
development project tourism action plan.


4.1 Defining target markets
We start by considering which market segments should be targeted as priorities.

At a West London sub-regional level, these priorities are set out in the recently
published LDA Guide to Positioning West London. The guide sets out four main
segment priorities for West London using the same life- values-based
segmentation method that is employed by Visit London, Visit Britain and other UK
destinations. Information on the four priorities – Cosmopolitans, High Streets,
Discoverers, Style Hounds – are listed below.

Table 1: Priority Segments for West London


 Cosmopolitans        Strong, active, confident; style and brand are important, but as an
                      expression of self-made identity; high spenders, especially on onnovation
                      and technology; looking for new challenges, new experiences,
                      globetrotters
 High Streets         Mainstream early adopters; followers of high street fashion, care what
                      others think, happy to buy packaged options
 Discoverers          Independent in mind and action; little influenced by style or brand but
                      interested in new options, buy on function and value to them; looking for
                      new and educational experiences
 Style Hounds         Young free single, impulsive, fashion counts, strongly influenced by
                      others, and early adopters, brand counts, looking for fun with friends

Source: Guide to Positioning West London, LDA, June 2006


Of these segments, two of the segments Pre-family High Streets and Pre-family
Style Hounds, were identified as particularly relevant to Shepherds Bush.

In addition to the segments above, we also suggest that you look at the following:

•   The local market: The Hammersmith and Fulham Visitor Strategy and
    Action Plan identifies this as a key target market as Shepherds Bush
    has a large resident population that is growing in affluence. Although
    the area has a high percentage of young people, many of whom will be
    Style Hounds or High Streets, anecdotal evidence suggests that these
    residents are currently heading to neighbouring areas to spend their
    leisure time. More could be done to ensure that local residents are
    made aware, and take advantage, of the amenities on their doorstep




                                                                                                  10
•      Surrounding boroughs: The good transport links to these areas
       mean they form a realistic catchment area from which to draw visitors
•      Specialist audiences: For those interested in contemporary music,
       Shepherds Bush has a strong identity which should be built upon. The
       presence of good ethnic restaurants and shops also offers potential


4.2 Positioning Shepherds Bush
It is important that any promotion or marketing of Shepherds Bush takes account
of two aspects: i) the reality of the product as it is on the ground now and ii) how
the area is perceived by potential customers.

Some useful insights into these two areas is provided by a recently-published
document produced by LDA. The Guide to Positioning West London. This divides
the sub-region into three categories of brands:

•      Brand lighthouses: The strongest category, consisting of brands that
       are clearly defined. These are brands where there are a number of
       clearly recognisable features and which can be marketed and
       developed over time
•      Potential Brand Lighthouses: These aren’t brands yet – but they
       have potential
•      Non brands: These have no distinctive personality with perhaps
       perceived negatives

There’s good and bad news here for Shepherds Bush. The area is not identified
as a one of three Brand Lighthouses (Chelsea and Fulham, Hammersmith and
Wembley), but it is identified as one of three Potential Brands (along with
Chiswick and Ealing). The guide says of Shepherds Bush:

        “Shepherds Bush associations are the BBC, the Empire and the market.
        There is some sense of history and it is known for Jamaican restaurants and
        the Green. It’s cheap, and buzzy. There are strong negatives – a dodgy area,
        trouble below the surface, rubbish, dirty.”

In terms of positioning the area, the guide suggests the essence of the area is
gritty, real and spirited. These descriptions are similar to the values that
emerged from the already mentioned business consultation undertaken by the
Visitor Development Project (cool, hip and edgy). This suggests a good
consensus about the values that need to underpin any promotion of the area.

In terms of actual themes to develop in promotional campaigns, the West London
guide identifies shopping as the only first-order theme3 with Shepherds Bush




3
    Strong themes that really motivate a significant proportion of visitors to come to London and visit more widely.



                                                                                                                 11
relevance (particularly the market) whilst second-order themes 4 include theatre
(Bush Theatre), music (Empire) and perhaps sport (QPR) and film (BBC tours).


4.3 Raising awareness, encouraging visits
It should be stressed that the effective and sustained development of the visitor
economy in Shepherds Bush will require both active promotion and product
development. The latter will be especially important in the run up and subsequent
to the opening of the new whitecity development.

In the next section we look at some of the improvements that need to be made to
create a more rounded visitor “product” but here we focus on some short term
tactical promotional ideas that can be used to promote the area as it is and which
build on existing strengths and minimise current weaknesses.


Working with others
The Guide to Positioning West London makes much of the need to position West
London (and by implication Shepherds Bush) as part of the London tourism offer.
A key part of this, the guide suggests, is to provide accurately tailored material to
Visit London and the many other London guide publishers.

Below are some suggested actions. They are mostly adapted from the Visit
London Local Tourism Toolkit, which can be downloaded from the VL website5.


Visit London

PR
•      Send regular events listings and press releases. Also, send advanced
       information about the guided tour programme in order that VL can help
       recruit journalists to attend. Your main PR contact at Visit London is
       Anna Streatfeild, astreatfeild@visitlondon.com
•      Offer to host VL Press Trips. The VL press office is currently dealing
       with a huge number of journalists coming into London. Get in touch
       with Anna Streatfeild to offer accommodation (K West?), meals
       (participation on a Middle East Food Tour?), entrance to attractions
       (BBC Tours) etc
•      Submit information on events and new restaurants, music ventures,
       festivals, shops for inclusion in the monthly press briefing e-newsletter.
       The newsletter focuses on new attractions so information should be
       tailored to suit this content requirement. You can view past copies of
       the press briefings at
       http://www.visitlondon.com/corporate/press_centre/whats_new/


4
    Moderate themes / needs that have some power to change behaviour. They may only interest a minority, but still
offer the potential to draw people to new locations.
5
    Access the guide from http://www.visitlondon.com/corporate/marketing/alg.html



                                                                                                            12
On-line
• Discuss with VL changing the criteria used on the VL website for
   searching for restaurants, bars, clubs and entertainment. Currently the
   VL website (for example see
   http://www.visitlondon.com/city_guide/eating_out/) offers users the
   ability to search based on a list of 33 geographical areas. Shepherds
   Bush does not specifically appear in any of these areas and it is not
   clear whether it is included in any of the descriptions of nearby areas
   (e.g. Hammersmith and Earls Court, Chelsea and Fulham). Using the
   keyword search does throw up Shepherds Bush venues but this
   apparent lack of presence on the main search criteria will not help
   raise the area’s profile in areas where it has strengths (music, theatre,
   restaurants, bars and pubs).
• Submit events listings for inclusion on the VL website. What's On
   listings for the site are provided by the Press Association. Appendix 1
   provides details of exactly how to submit art-form specific information.
   VL also ask that you send press releases and event information to
   editorial@visitlondon.com
• If not already, get on the mailing list for Visit London’s trade newsletter.
   This will keep you up to date with campaigns and requests for
   information for specific campaigns. Register through
   www.visitlondon.com/corporate
• Develop regular special offers for Visit London’s opt-in database of
   London residents. They receive a weekly email newsletter giving the
   latest events and special offers. Contact is Rebecca Hurrell
   (rhurrell@visitlondon.com). Please note that this is only available to
   Visit London partners so you may need to clarify whether this route is
   available to boroughs
• Submit events information (particularly music) and special offers for
   VL’s youth campaign. This campaign is ideally suited to the Shepherds
   Bush product offer. The campaign is largely promoted via online
   channels and e-blasts. There is also a dedicated special offers section
   on the youth micro-site. Special offers need to have some added value
   Submit events and special offers to totally@visitlondon.com
• Submit information and special offers for the consumer e-newsletters.
   Emails will go out on a regularly basis (weekly in high season). There
   are no forms to fill in - simply send information to
   partneroffers@visitlondon.com

Publications
There are a number of guides produced by Visit London but some are more
relevant than others to the target segments / product of Shepherds Bush. Below
we list three publications which we see as priorities for inclusion of Shepherds
Bush “product”.
• Eat London - A Free Guide to Value Eats.
• Shop London



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• London City Guide
For each of the above, the first step is to establish when the guide is prepared
and who is responsible for the editorial content. Contact Anna Venturas
(aventuras@visitlondon.com) to establish this information. Once the relevant
contact is confirmed, consider personally inviting the editor to sample whats on
offer by organising a bespoke fam. trip for them.

Time Out
Other than Visit London, the publishers of the various Time Out guides are
probably the next most important to work with. The tactics for securing coverage
are similar to that outlined for Visit London (identifying editors and editorial cycles,
inviting editors on tailored fam. visit). Time Out has been rapidly expanding its
portfolio in recent years so below we list the publications that should be seen as
priorities.

•   London for Londoners: A new guide first published in 2006. Includes
    chapters on each of 24 London boroughs, including Hammersmith and
    Fulham. Coverage of Shepherds Bush is mixed but it does include
    good mentions on the area’s restaurants.
•   Eating and Drinking: Annual guide to food and drink establishments.
    Relatively good and positive coverage of Shepherds Bush
    establishments
•   Cheap Eats in London: Shepherds Bush excels in offering good
    quality, interesting food at moderate process. This annual guide
    focussing on restaurants offering meals for under £20 a head is a key
    vehicle to communicate one of the area’s strengths
•   Bars, Pubs and Clubs: Annual guide containing reviews of over 1,000
    establishments
•   Shopping: Annual guide, first published in 2005

Others
•   London Guide (formerly London Planner): A monthly guide (100,000
    copies) produced by independent publisher Morris Visitor Publications
    Archant Specialist but endorsed by Visit London. Heavily focussed on
    central London, but does cover the Hammersmith and Fulham area


Marketing

On line
•   Align VisitShepherdsbush.com with core brand values or develop a
    sister site that does. Although the current website is well laid out and
    has a clean design, it doesn’t really reflect the core brand values of
    Shepherds Bush (e.g. gritty, spirited etc). Consideration should be
    given to approaching a web-design company to either redesign the
    existing website or to create a mini-site that is more aligned to the
    area’s proposed brand values (see http://www.carnaby.co.uk/ for an
    example of an area promoting to a “young” audience)


                                                                                 14
•   Feature those that give the area its spirited feel. Using the website as
    a place to features some of those that give Shepherds Bush its spirited
    feel would provide substance to the proposed brand positioning.
    Amongst those that could be profiled are the Manager of Shepherds
    Bush Empire, organiser(s) of the comedy night at Ginglik, owner(s) of
    interesting shops/market stalls etc
•   Improve the profile and comprehensiveness of what’s on listings. It is
    likely that specific events are driving many visits to Shepherds Bush.
    As such there is a need for more prominent placement of what’s on
    listings on the website. In addition a number of suggestions are made
    below:
      −   There needs to be a more flexible search engine which allows users to
          select types of music as a search criteria (at present users can just
          select music)
      −   Add the ability for users to sign up for regular events listings by email
          (preferably with the ability to select which types of events you are
          interested in)
      −   Improve comprehensiveness of listings. If you search for events at the
          Shepherds Bush Empire, only three or four events are listed. The site
          needs to develop a reputation for being the place to come for details of
          everything happening in the area
      −   Consider developing some reviews of forthcoming gigs / events. This
          could be commissioned directly or pulled into the site from a third party
          source through a technology like RSS. Including photos would add
          some interest
      −   Include objective, 3rd party quotes wherever possible. There are a
          growing number of guides and publications that have included positive
          articles about various facets of Shepherds Bush. The website should
          seek to include relevant quotes throughout the website. Using such
          quotes provides credence to claims made about the area

•   Improve the search engine rankings for the current website. At present
    if you type Shepherds Bush into Google, the visitshepherdsbush
    website doesn’t appear in the first page of results. There are two ways
    to improve this situation – improving the performance of the site when
    searches are performed (natural search results) and/or paying for pay-
    per-click advertising on Google website.
      −   Improving natural searches: There are a number of areas to explore.
          Can you increase the number of websites that link to the website?
          Asking accommodation providers / attractions etc to link can greatly
          enhance the results. If your webpages are generated from a database,
          this can affect their visibility in search results. Speaking with the site’s
          webmaster may offer some possible ways round this problem. Another
          approach (albeit more expensive), would be to commission a company
          that specialises in search engine optimisation
      −   Paying for pay-per-click adverts. Having looked at the search term
          ‘Shepherds Bush’ there appears to be only one pay-per-click advert


                                                                                15
          listed. This suggests that it may be worth exploring the cost of mounting
          a Google AdWords Campaign, Start up costs are low (£5 activation fee
          and £10 minimum payment) and you only pay for each time your ad is
          clicked. Given the likely interest there will be in the whitecity
          development over the coming years, it is also worth considering a
          campaign around the terms “whitecity” and “white city”

Press & PR
Press and publicity is already heavily used and should remain a core
activity. The focus should be on getting people to sample the area for
themselves. If this requires some hand-holding (either through guided
tours or fam, visits) then so be it.

•   Proactive recruitment of journalists onto the Middle Eastern Food
    Tours. The food tours have been successful but are time-consuming to
    organise. One way of increasing their impact is to see them as a way
    of generating editorial coverage in relevant publications / media
    channels. Journalists should be actively targeted for inclusion on future
    Middle Eastern Food Tours. A target list of publications should be
    drawn up and the relevant journalists invited
•   Actively promote food tours to residents. The council’s newspaper is a
    cost effective way to promote the food tours. Using creative ad media
    such as beer mats might also raise awareness of the tours amongst
    those using local facilities (bars and restaurants)
•   Offer an overnight stay at K West to selected journalists taking up the
    offer of the Middle Eastern Food Tour. The K West hotel is a major
    asset for the area and there is an opportunity to promote overnight
    stays in the area by promoting this hotel via journalists
•   Develop a PR campaign to promote Shepherds Bush market. Working
    with owners London Underground, there is an opportunity to issue
    press releases around a number of themes:
      −   Unusual goods being sold (e.g. unusual fruit, vegetables, unusual fish
          species)
      −   Interesting back-stories of stall holders
      −   New stall holders, new shops
      −    Consideration could also be given to providing live music in the market
           on selected days and heavily promoting this through the media
•   Compile regular events listings (particularly music and arts events) and
    circulate to relevant event compilers. This needs to be done on a
    regular basis if it is to pay dividends (Appendix 1 provides details of
    how to provide information to PA Listings)




                                                                                16
Publications

Existing publications
•   Go West: The current description for the Middle Eastern Food Tour
    doesn’t mention that the tour takes place in and around Shepherds
    Bush. Explicit reference should be made to Shepherds Bush and its
    growing reputation for food. If room allows, a quote about the quality of
    the Middle Eastern Food available in the area should be used.
•   Shepherds Bush Map and Guide – This is a useful piece of print
    conveying a good level of information about subjects that lend weight
    to the area’s desire to be seen as gritty and spirited. When the time
    comes to reprint, we would suggest that you consider the following:
      −   Add objective quotes about the area. As with the website, positive press
          and guidebook quotes about the area lend credence to claims made
          about the area
      −   Align the leaflet’s design with the re-vamped website. If the decision is
          taken to redesign the visitshepherdsbush website, the leaflet may need
          to be redesigned to complement the on-line presence
      −   More prominent promotion of the visitshepherdsbush website. We
          suggest that the website be promoted on the front cover and
          prominently on both sides of the leaflet

Possible new publications
•   Night-time economy: We are aware that there are tentative plans to
    produce a guide focussed around the night-time economy. There may
    be scope to develop such a guide but effective distribution of the guide
    might prove a challenge. An alternative to the production of a
    publication might be a website promoting these aspects (see earlier
    recommendations regarding on-line marketing)

Advertising
Modest budgets mean that a commercial advertising campaign is out of
the question. However, there is an opportunity to gain free distribution of
online advertising by using local businesses’ websites presence. The main
stages would be:
      −   Commissioning of on-line banner, button, pop-up and skyscraper
          adverts to creatively convey the brand values of Shepherds Bush (A
          locally-based advertising agency might consider doing the work at a
          discounted rate)
      −   The creative treatment should seek to change attitudes about the area,
          by accepting that existing perceptions of the area are not wholly positive
          but then showing that the area has a lot to offer
      −   The creative treatment should be in line with the desired brand image of
          the area (e.g. gritty, spirited etc). Humour might be an effective vehicle
          to achieve this. It may also make sense to incorporate objective,
          positive quotes about the area that have featured in the press and/or
          guidebooks


                                                                                17
          −    Encourage local businesses with a web presence to include the banner
               ads on their websites

Other ideas
A bit wacky but maybe worth considering!
• Sponsor new band/ DJ events at Bush Hall and/or Ginglik. Shepherds
   Bush venues have a history of breaking new talent. Sponsoring a
   showcase for new talent provides a concrete example of the area
   wishing to continue this heritage
• Bring key attractions to potential audiences. One of the challenges for
   Shepherds Bush is that a lot of activity in the area is centred around
   The Green (e.g. Empire, bars etc) yet many of the area’s more unusual
   attractions are located away from this area (e.g. the ethnic restaurants
   and shops, the Market). Also, the area is popular at night but several
   attractions are not open at this time. One way of overcoming these
   issues would be to bring key attractions to where the people are. This
   might involve developing some sort of mobile presentation that can be
   located outside key venues such as the Shepherds Bush Empire and
   the BBC. It could offer free food samples from restaurants or cooking
   demonstrations or have min-versions of some of the market stalls. The
   presence could also promote the Middle Eastern Food Tours.


4.4 Developing the product
As already stated, promotion alone will not be sufficient to maximise the area’s
visitor potential. Although there have already been improvements made to some
parts of Shepherds Bush and there are currently moves afoot to improve others,
more needs to be done to have a significant effect on the look of the area.

Over recent years, there have been several reports and strategies designed to
improve Shepherds Bush6. As such it is not our intention here to re-invent the
wheel. Instead below we have extracted some of the major recommendations
from the various reports which we consider pertinent to developing the area’s
visitor economy and which appear to still require implementation.

Environmental improvements
•      Review town centre parking controls, provision and traffic management
       including bus stops, provision for cyclists and pedestrians
•      Deliver improved street cleansing programme
•      Fully implement the guidelines included in the street design guide
       Streetsmart
•      Devise and implement a pedestrian direction signage scheme



6
    E.g. Shepherds Bush Town Centre Regeneration Strategy (2000); Shepherds Bush Town Centre Economic Review
(2000); Shepherds Bush Healthy Town Initiative (ongoing); High Quality Public Realm scheme Invest to Save)(2004
– 2006)



                                                                                                        18
•   Extend the scope and take-up of schemes aimed at improving the
    quality of shop-fronts

Mixed use café quarter and destination retailing
•   Promotion of Uxbridge Road (adjacent to the Green) as a café quarter
    and specialist retailing activity with appropriate signage

whitecity
•   Agree detailed, attractive, visible and well signed pedestrian routes
    between the whitecity development and the existing commercial centre
•   Seek on-going and active liaison with key staff connected with the
    whitecity development

Shepherds Bush Market
•   General physical improvement of the market, including the street and
    the stalls
•   Improved directional and entrance signage to the market
•   Consideration of expanding the market to accommodate additional
    semi-permanent units to house specialist retailers

The Green
•   Family orientated leisure facilities to be included as part of any
    proposals for the green
•   Accommodate low-key commercial activities such as occasional
    festivals, themed craft and food markets
•   Maintain and enhance the amenity use of the green

In addition to the above recommendations we would also suggest that the
following be pursued:

•   Active enforcement of the recently acquired borough-wide controlled
    drinking area within Shepherds Bush, particularly in and around the
    Green
•   Full implementation of the initiatives contained in the Invest to Save
    High Quality Public Realm scheme (e.g. high quality, low maintenance
    materials, hard landscaping and revisions to street furniture, with the
    aim of reducing street clutter, and eliminating repairs backlogs.
    Cleansing regimes to be reviewed to reduce litter, graffiti and fly
    posting)
•   Consider strengthening Town Centre warden-style presence on the
    streets to spot damage, grafitti, anti-social behaviour etc




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APPENDIX 1: HOW TO SUBMIT EVENTS INFORMATION TO PA
LISTINGS

Listings can be sent via email, fax or post. As well as details of the event, all
listings need to have a date, time, price, telephone number and exact address,
including a full postcode.

Listings need to be sent no later than three weeks before the event. If using
email, you will need to send events to different email addresses, depending on
the art-form (see below).

Type of event                                    Email address
Fine art, decorative art, galleries and crafts   art@pa-entertainment.co.uk
Concerts of classical music, opera, brass        classical@pa-entertainment.co.uk
bands and choirs
Live comedy performances, stand-up,              comedy@pa-entertainment.co.uk
TV/radio comedy recordings
Festivals, fairs, museums, historical sites,     events@pa-entertainment.co.uk
literature, children & family events
All clubs, DJ and nightlife events               clubs@pa-entertainment.co.uk
Live performances of rock, world, soul,          gigs@pa-entertainment.co.uk
dance music etc.
Live performances of jazz and cabaret etc.       jazz@pa-entertainment.co.uk
Professional theatre performances                theatre@pa-entertainment.co.uk
Professional dance performances                  dance@pa-entertainment.co.uk
Cinema events, screenings and festivals          cinema@pa-entertainment.co.uk


Or by post to: PA Arts & Events, PA Entertainment, 292 Vauxhall Bridge Road,
London SW1V 1AE Fax: 020-7963 7805




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