Best practice from Cirkle
The Blackcurrant Foundation has been established by British growers to raise awareness of the numerous health benefits of blackcurrants from the British Isles.
Blackcurrant Foundation members grow 2,000 hectares of blackcurrants across the British Isles which produces a crop of approximately 14,000 tonnes of fruit every year during the harvest season in July and August.
Cirkle has worked with the Blackcurrant Foundation since 2006 to raise awareness of British Blackcurrants and their nutritional benefits.
- To celebrate British Blackcurrants as the number one ‘Superfruit’
- Launch the results and findings of the Superfruit research, commissioned by the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI).
- On the back of this research, launch British Blackcurrants as the No.1 Superfruit to national, regional and consumer press, broadcast media and trade media.
- Drive awareness of British Blackcurrants and position them as a ‘nutritional powerhouse’.
Strategy and plan
Phase 1 – The Preparation
Cirkle prepared an extensive press pack on the back of the results and findings from the SCRI with tailored press releases for all the different media channels to be approached.
Alongside this, detailed Q&A documents, contingency plan and briefing documents were prepared.
A Superfruit ‘wheel’ was developed to easily showcase the findings from the research from the SCRI.
All documents had to be signed off by all 15 growers on the committee and therefore a detailed timing plan needed to be adhered to, to ensure the deadlines were met.
Media training sessions were also held with the designated spokespeople to ensure they were confident and happy with the key messages that needed to be delivered.
Phase 2 – The Launch
The Superfruit launch took place week commencing 18th June 2007, prior to the start of the season.
Cirkle set about selling in the research, the Superfruit wheel and the news releases to the national press for potential coverage the next day.
Alongside this a day of radio interviews was set up for later in the week to discuss the results and also a Web TV show was commissioned. Jo Hilditch, Chairwoman for the British Blackcurrant Foundation and Dr. Derek Stewart (SCRI) were the two spokespeople on hand.
Once the news had been sold into the national press and coverage levels were ascertained, press packs including Superfruit wheels were sent out to all other key media including: food titles, women’s press, regional titles, and all relevant broadcast opportunities.
Alongside all of this, Cirkle worked with the Foundation to create a separate website where all of the information could be downloaded – superfruits.org
Phase 3 – Maintaining the Momentum
Once the initial launch week was over, Cirkle focused on setting up interviews and coverage opportunities across all the media channels.
A fully proactive press office was underway, pushing the news and results wherever possible.
Measurement and evaluation
A silver Metrica report was commissioned to fully evaluate the campaign and message delivery.
Total results to date (as analysed by Metrica)
- 80 favourable cuttings, including 74 “strongly favourable”
- 80% of articles delivered a Blackcurrant Foundation message, with 76% describing the blackcurrant as the leading superfruit
- 46% of UK adults (21,646,423) were reached by Blackcurrant Foundation coverage
- The AVE for Blackcurrant Foundation coverage was £1,475,015 (over 35 times the ROI)
- The campaign generated 86,897,130 OTS (Opportunities to See)
According to Lorraine Edwards at Metrica: “The favourability of coverage was excellent - there was no negative coverage associated with this campaign, and 93% of all articles were strongly favourable - a fantastic result!
“Message delivery was also strong for the campaign. All messages appeared in 66% or more of all articles. Delivery of messages in over 40% of coverage is considered excellent, so therefore this represents an outstanding result for the Blackcurrant Foundation.”
Coverage highlights include:
- 30 minute Web TV live broadcast
- 30 regional radio interviews with Foundation members
- Coverage across 6 national papers in the first week
- 47 cuttings generated in the week following announcement of SCRI news
- 3 page feature in Hello! Magazine
- Over 3,000 requests to date for copies of the Superfruit wheel from consumers (through the Superfruits.org website)
- Interview on Radio 4 ‘Sarah Kennedy programme’ with spokespeople
Chairwoman for the British Blackcurrant Foundation, Jo Hilditch, added, “We have been totally overwhelmed with the results and response from the Superfruits launch. We knew we had a strong story on our hands due to the research but we have been thrilled with the coverage Cirkle has achieved to date.
“Our aim with the story was to raise awareness of British Blackcurrants and position them as a home grown hero, a Superfruit on our very own doorsteps and I feel this has been achieved.”
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