Best practice from Storm Communications
Retail crime is a serious issue. Each year retailers lose thousands of pounds on items stolen from stores, £3.9 billion to be exact.
And this is not just because of dishonest individuals but products are taken in the supply chain as well as by staff on the payroll. Checkpoint Systems is a global leader of shrink management solutions, providing retailers with the right tools to combat the threat of theft.
Checkpoint commissions an annual research report into theft called the Global Retail Theft Barometer, to demonstrate to retail management the harsh reality of shoplifting on the company’s financial performance. Storm Communications has worked with Checkpoint Systems (UK) since June 2006.
As part of an on going ‘authority positioning’ brief within the UK’s retail trade and national business media, Storm was tasked with publicising Checkpoint’s Global Retail Theft Barometer.
Previously known for six years as The European Retail Theft Barometer before its expansion to a global remit, the report, now in its seventh year, investigates the cost and implications of retail theft.
The objective was to raise the awareness surrounding the impact that retail theft can have on businesses and ultimately consumers. Many retailers do take the challenge of tackling theft seriously as it can result in a huge strain on profits but there are still some who do not invest sufficiently or effectively.
Storm’s aim was to raise the profile of the issue among the few non-conformers, outlining that there are solutions to prevent and deter theft.
In order to achieve this, we needed to generate coverage across a wide spectrum of media – national newspapers, in the main news section and business pages, trade publications in the security, retail and grocery sectors, in addition to UK regional titles.
Storm used the figures to create a ‘shock’ news angle to capture the attention of journalists. By focusing on the cost of retail crime to every UK household, Storm succeeded in making a very technical report media friendly.
A press release on the report was drafted that focused predominantly on the local UK market statistics for the news hook and then used other countries as comparisons.
In addition, a fact sheet was drafted that contained all the interesting nuggets, including, the worst countries for theft, top stolen items and internal versus external theft.
Storm issued the Global Retail Theft Barometer press release to specific publications under a strict embargo ahead of the full Global launch. This ensured the news was planned into the key schedules of the broadcast planners, news desks and pages.
With three days to launch, Storm pre-sold into television and radio business broadcast shows, and the national crime and retail correspondences. For the vertical trade titles, Storm identified the lead story for that sector and individual angles were pulled out of the report, along with supporting figures.
The day before launch, Storm set up interviews with the Managing Director of Checkpoint Systems UK and the Head of Loss Prevention for House of Fraser for both pre-records and live interviews the following day.
Storm issued the news to all national, broadcast, trade and regional media and undertook a proactive and timely follow up to ensure maximum coverage was achieved.
Further to the standard follow up, Storm identified relevant upcoming features for the Global Retail Theft Barometer figures, as well as utilising them for comment features to highlight the winners and losers in the fight against retail crime.
The Global Retail Theft Barometer dominated the national news. Ten items of national newspaper coverage were achieved in titles such as The Times (twice), The Telegraph, Sunday Mirror, The Daily Star, Daily Mail (twice), The Daily Express and The Sun.
Key trade publications covered the story including a four-page article in leading grocery title The Grocer and news items in the top retail publications: Retail Week, Retail Technology and Retail Systems. This was complemented by an array of regional newspapers, regional broadcast and online coverage.
In total more than 50 pieces of coverage were achieved with an equivalent advertising value of £389,326.
Marketing Manager of Checkpoint Systems, Leigh Hutchinson, said, “The Global Retail Theft Barometer is our annual research study, therefore publicising the results through public relations is crucial.”
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