Appendix: List of PR Campaign Highlights July 2008 to June 2009 The PR for Homecoming is carried out by the PR and Communications teams of VisitScotland, EventScotland and the Scottish Government. 1. June 2008 - Launch of Homecoming Scotland Programme To formally launch the Homecoming Scotland 2009 programme, a series of events were held at Edinburgh Castle for media and the event organisers. These included a media launch and photo-call, a marketing and communications workshop and an evening reception. This showcased the partnership process required, provided a number of media interviewees and afforded an opportunity to workshop communications procedures. Coverage included BBC Radio, BBC 1 Reporting Scotland, Forth 1, STV Scotland Today and North Tonight, Courier & Advertiser, Daily Record, Scottish Daily Express, Scottish Daily Mail, Press & Journal, Scotsman, The Times, 2. August 2008 - International Media Launch of Homecoming Scotland The Edinburgh summer Festivals are the biggest and best cultural events in the world and the Homecoming Scotland team capitalised on the international media attendance in the Capital by hosting a special reception for 200 press, programmers and key opinion formers to raise awareness of the events programme of which the Festivals would form a key part. The First Minister and the Artist Directors of the Festivals also attended. While this event was aimed at targeting international media to raise awareness overseas, working in partnership with the Edinburgh Festivals we managed to generate coverage corporately within the national media, including the Courier, the Financial Times and the Herald. 3. September 2008 - Scotland the Home of Golf DVD The team worked with Sir Sean Connery to produce a DVD, Scotland the Home of Golf, which was premiered at the Ryder Cup with golfing stakeholders from across the globe. We also worked with the Chinese Consul General to have the DVD subtitled in Mandarin and played to millions on Chinese national TV. 4. November 2008 - Launch of the Homecoming Scotland Advert - Caledonia TV advertising has generated consistently strong brand recognition in VisitScotland’s brand tracking The communications team made contact with legendary Scottish folk singer Dougie MacLean and persuaded him to provide usage rights for his hit anthem Caledonia. Marketing colleagues were persuaded to fund a modest media and production schedule and the Communications team contacted a number of celebrities to appear in the advert for free with 10 agreeing. A media and stakeholder launch of this advert was set-up with attendance by the First Minister, two of the adverts’ participants and the songwriter himself, Dougie Maclean. The launch was covered extensively in the media, featuring in the Scotsman, the Herald, the Edinburgh Evening News, the Courier & Advertiser, the Daily Record, Guardian.co.uk, Scottish Daily Express, Scottish Daily Star, the Press & Journal, the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Post. It also featured on the BBC online and on the 5:30 Show on ITV. Working with the stars that featured in the advert, our communications team secured testimonial for the PR activity, helping us to secure such extensive coverage. All those attending the launch received a copy of the advert on DVD and copies were subsequently sent to a broad range of stakeholders. We also organised an internal showing of the new advert to ensure that all our staff were on board as ambassadors for the Homecoming initiative. 5. December 2008 - March 2009 European Homecoming Media Events As European markets do not necessarily have obvious ancestral links with Scotland it was important to position Homecoming as a year- long programme of cultural events so Europeans could feel further involved and engaged with the celebrations. To ensure this messaging was conveyed to the media, a series of interactive events was held in key European markets (Paris, Moscow, Madrid, Dusseldorf, Rome and Oslo) to explain the programme and themes and to excite and enthuse media to write about Scotland in 2009. We provided journalists with story angles and ideas of areas to visit to secure coverage of Homecoming. We worked with partners to showcase themes and provide interactive elements; partners included: 21st Century Kilts, Chivas, ANTA Furnishings, The Gathering, Celtic Connections, Gleneagles, Walkers and MacSween. We generated direct leads from events with media covering specific events or themes. Highlights include: TéléMatin (France 2): Crew attended Burns Launch weekend including Big Burns event in Glasgow and Burns Light in Dumfries; a four page spread in a French Whisky magazine about the Homecoming events programme; a four page pullout dedicated to Scotland in TTG, Russia; a feature on Scottish food for Afisha Mir, a new gastronomy magazine in Russia; ancestral coverage in WAZ and the Süddeutsche Zeitung. 6. January 2009 - Point of Entry Campaign The launch of the Year of Homecoming was supported by the Scottish Government’s point-of-entry campaign – which saw ‘Welcome to Scotland’ signs and Homecoming branding appear in airports across the country. This new campaign was launched to the media by Tourism Minister, Jim Mather. 7. January 2009 - Clydesdale Bank Partnership Another success of our corporate engagement was the launch of Clydesdale Bank’s new family of banknotes celebrating famous Scots and the five World Heritage Sites in Scotland, drawing on the Homecoming themes of Burns, Great Minds and Innovation, Culture and Heritage. Scotland has produced its own banknotes for more than 300 years, marking the culture, heritage, tradition and resilience of Scotland, its people and our financial sector. The launch of the new banknote family was a powerful indication of Scotland’s strength in the current economic climate as well as a way of commemorating the Year of Homecoming. 8. January 2009 - North American Media Tour and Burns Suppers To coincide with the official launch weekend, the Homecoming team organised a media tour across North America. This tour took in five cities - New York, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Halifax. The team capitalised on Burns Suppers being organised by Diaspora organisations across the cities. In addition to working with more traditional Burns Suppers, to secure coverage in the Vancouver area, we worked with the Gung Haggis Fat Choy Burns Supper, an event which brings together the celebration of Burns and Chinese New Year. Coverage was secured in publications such as the Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, NUVO Magazine, Calgary Herald, Zoomer Magazine, Travel Week, Globe & Mail, New York Times. Broadcast coverage was secured on CBC TV, Globe TV, KOOL-FM Radio. Complementing the activity in market, the team back in Scotland secured live links with Radio FiveLive and a pre-record interview which was broadcast on Newsnight. 9. January 2009 - UK Broadcast Coverage We actively targeted key radio and TV programmes to generate as much awareness as possible of the campaign. Highlights were extensive coverage on a number of BBC channels and programmes including Radio 5 Live (5 different slots), Radio 2 (3 of their biggest shows - The Steve Wright, Ken Bruce and Terry Wogan shows), BBC 1 The One Show, BBC 2 Something for the Weekend. The pinnacle was 14mins on GMTV (UK-wide) which involved setting up Burns Suppers in 5 different locations and was broadcast live from Ayrshire - the birthplace of Burns. 10. February 2009 - Drive it Home Launch As part of its international marketing campaign, VisitScotland launched Scotland’s biggest ever golf give-away, Drive it Home. The Homecoming PR team played an important part in ensuring the success of this campaign, promoting the campaign via press activity in key overseas markets with quirky stunts including sending journalists a bar of chocolate with a golf course set into the chocolate. As a result of the PR activity, the campaign was a sell-out success with demand from the USA, Canada and Sweden for the 2,200 free four-ball slots being so high that golfers were registering for the scheme every five minutes, with all slots being claimed within one week. Back in Scotland, the Homecoming Team organised a corporate launch of the initiative to promote the potential economic impact of Homecoming and this campaign in particular. Working with VisitScotland’s Golf Ambassador and the First Minister, the Scottish launch at the Dalmahoy generated significant coverage across the Scottish media, including in the Herald, the Courier & Advertiser, the Daily Telegraph Scotland, the Scottish Daily Star, the Scottish Daily Express, the Daily Record and the Press and Journal. 11. February 2009 - Whisky Month A series of events was held to promote the month of May which was deemed Whisky Month in the Homecoming calendar. London’s famous Borough Market kick- started the mini campaign with a photo-call and whisky and food matching press event for food journalists. This was replicated in Belfast with an exclusive lunch for feature writers where they got to sample the matches and a photo-led sampling exercise which provided an opportunity for regional coverage as well as Northern Irish nationals. This was further supplemented by recipe cards which were compiled and issued to features desks and a press trip to Speyside for the Press Association which generated a number of regional features in England. The results were that over 50 feature pieces were generated for Whisky Month in the UK alone and feedback from distilleries taking part in the Speyside Whisky Festival documented a 30% rise in visitors on the previous year. Again the corporate team worked back home to highlight what Homecoming means for Scotland, with coverage in the Scotsman and the Metro. 12. March 2009 - Partnership with Coca Cola We developed relationships with Coca Cola Enterprises to explore mutual branding opportunities. The result was the launch of a limited edition Homecoming Scotland Coke bottle featuring an iconic image of Robert Burns. This is first time an individual has featured on a bottle of Coca Cola. We then organised a joint launch event with the First Minister and the CEO of Coca Cola Enterprises, allowing an iconic photo opportunity at Gleneagles Hotel. This global partnership built on the partnerships we had already developed with leading Scottish brands such as Tunnocks, Wiseman Dairies and Walkers Shortbread. 13. April 2009 - Scotland Week 2009 Building on the pre-promotion during Tartan Week 2007 and Scotland Week 2008, we used the hook of Scotland Week 2009 to capitalise on later booking trends and to target US and Canadian consumers with messages about Homecoming Scotland events being held later in the year. Our approach was to stage fun photo stunts including a photo call with heavy athletes in Central Park to promote the Gathering and a photo call with Scottish musician Roddy Hart to promote the Homecoming Sessions. Given the current economic situation, we also targeted the media and consumers with value for money messages. We worked with tour operators to promote value for money products. We also staged photo stunt with a stretchy dollar. We also executed a media relations campaign targeting broadcast, print and online media. We pitched our chef Tom Lewis and our musician Roddy Hart as part of this activity, which also saw us stage a photocall with Donald Trump to promote Scotland as the Home of Golf. Supporting the PR campaign, we held media and trade receptions in New York and Toronto, with more than 200 media and trade contacts attending each event. Full evaluation is still ongoing but highlights include: - Immediate coverage in North American media generated a PR credibility value of $1,581,768 - The PR programme reached potential audiences of 178M in US and 6.5M in Canada - 111 travel media attended VisitScotland and Team Scotland events - ABC Sports interview with Highland Games champion Harrison Bailey talking about Homecoming Scotland - 40M audience - New York Daily News - Tartan Day Value Feature with new $999 Homecoming Scotland package reaching 2.1M readers - Chef Tom Lewis talking-up Scotland’s gourmet product on Martha Stewart Living Radio - 17M listener reach - Roddy Hart interview on Conde’ Nast Traveller online - 2M reach - Modern Agent interview with VS Chairman Peter Lederer - reach 35K travel trade 14. June 2009 - The Gathering Programme Launch A photo opportunity was organised to launch the programme for the Gathering - the biggest clan gathering ever seen in Scotland (to be held at the end of July). As well as being carried in more than 15 publications, this was an example of the mentoring role we have taken on board with events organisers - working in partnership to encourage some good PR opportunities. 15. 2009 All Year Long - ‘Inspiring Scotland’ Campaign with the Scotsman To ensure the smaller programmed events received press coverage, we set up a photography competition with The Scotsman Recommends supplement asking readers to email inspirational pictures taken in Scotland (touching on the impact of Robert Burns). This competition runs monthly from January to November 2009 with prize incentives of tickets to Homecoming events and detailed information on each event included. The culmination is the creation of a photography book and a winners awards dinner sponsored by The Fairmont St Andrews Golf Resort and Spa (golf is also a Homecoming theme). The winning images will be blown up to create a touring exhibition for our Visitor Information Centres from December 2009 and with the book provides a lasting legacy for the Homecoming Scotland campaign. The Scotsman noted that this campaign has enjoyed phenomenal interest from readers and has received 4 pages of coverage every month as a result including a front cover. 3 events profiled so far have reported an increase in enquiries on the weeks the competition appeared. This campaign has not cost anything as tickets have been provided by the event organisers for free. 16. Press Trips The international and UK consumer PR teams have facilitated more than 250 press trips, all based on the five themes of Homecoming - Burns, Whisky, Golf, Great Minds and Innovation, and Ancestry and Culture. Key highlights included: • GMTV which involved filming in four separate locations, including Ben Nevis and Holyrood Park where a parachute regiment made a haggis drop to veterans. The report was 14 minutes in total and was broadcast live from Ayrshire with school kids reciting Burns poetry and talking about his contribution to the country. • Press Association - we facilitated one press trip to Speyside to pre-promote the Speyside Whisky Festival and it generated coverage in 18 top regional newspapers across England. • Trips from North America included: New York Times, National Geographic magazine, PBS, Travel Channel and Boston Globe • Bobo TV from Brazil The corporate team capitalised on these trips to demonstrate what Homecoming was doing to help promote regions across Scotland, with a programme of regional press activity which has seen coverage in the regional media far outweigh coverage in the national press. This activity has played a significant role in helping to build awareness across the Scottish public. 17. All Year Round Business Communications Industry magazine - Ambitions VisitScotland’s industry magazine Ambitions is sent to over 12,000 industry subscriber contacts. The first issue of 2009 (published March) ran with a cover image from the launch weekend taken at the iconic Brig o Doon bridge at Alloway. A three page feature “Homecoming Scotland Spotlight” gave prominence to the opening event and upcoming activities such as Whisky Month and the Drive It Home golf promotion. Excluding the special feature over 30% of the other articles mentioned Homecoming. March’s Ambitions followed the Autumn edition which led with a double page spread giving tips to businesses on how to engage with Homecoming, especially through the Toolkit, a one-stop-shop for travel and tourism professionals, which made available pictures, logos & brand guidelines, downloadable overviews, contact information and other useful information. visitscotland.org VisitScotland’s corporate website www.visitscotland.org has an average of 80,000 visitor sessions per month. A key way of focusing attention on particular issues has been the use of photo highlights on the main pages of the site (as seen right). These have been used to direct visitors to the site to pages such as news releases or, as here, a page outlining best practice case studies of businesses engaging with Homecoming. Before the launch an automatic countdown timer and graphic was set up on the main page that changed to a permanent graphic A page dedicated to Homecoming, outlining the general aims and objectives has been kept updated on the site since its uploading in January 2008. It also includes a section on how businesses can get involved in the celebrations. Visitscotland.org allows us to post documents available for free download and the Homecoming Events Guide has been downloaded over 5,200 times, in the process making it one of the top 10 downloads from the site. Homecoming news releases are published in the dedicated Media Centre and a specific panel highlights the latest Homecoming releases. Industry enewsletter eUpdate Each month VisitScotland sends an electronic newsletter eUpdate to over 8,000 industry contacts. It is produced by the Business Communications and Strategic Relations teams and includes articles contribued by external partners. Homecoming was trailed from the beginning of 2008 with stories outlining how businesses could become involved. In 2009 Homecoming featured heavily in the articles sent in both the national and the regional categories. Over 20% of the national stories contained Homecoming messaging and almost 30% of the regional articles.
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