Ministry Of Sound Promo, Case study SAVE OUR CLUB by POLITICAL LOBBYING & MEDIA RELATIONS

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SAVE OUR CLUB

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Industry Clubs, Records & Cinema Production, Business equipment & services, Corporate Image
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Agency POLITICAL LOBBYING & MEDIA RELATIONS
Copywriter Jessica Litwin
Released August 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Public Affairs
Advertiser: MINISTRY OF SOUND
Product/Service: NIGHTCLUB AND RECORD LABEL
Agency: POLITICAL LOBBYING AND MEDIA RELATIONS (PLMR)
Managing Director/Chief Creative: Kevin Craig (Political Lobbying And Media Relations)
Account Director/Design Lead: David Madden (Political Lobbying And Media Relations)
Account Manager: Ros Trinick (Political Lobbying And Media Relations)
Account Executive: Alexis Darby (Political Lobbying And Media Relations)
Digital Lead: Lucy Blair (Ministry Of Sound)
Copywriter: Jessica Litwin (Political Lobbying And Media Relations)
Media placement: Corporate Print Communications - Evening Standard - 30 August 2011
Media placement: Digital PR - Digital Spy - 9 September 2011
Media placement: Corporate Print Communications - Guardian - 12 September 2011
Media placement: Digital PR - BBC News Online - 15 September 2011
Media placement: Corporate Broadcast Communications - BBC News London - 17 September 2011
Media placement: Print Communications - South London Press - 20 September 2011
Media placement: Broadcast Communications - BBC Breakfast Show With Paul Ross - September 2011
Media placement: Print Communications - Time Out London - 5-11 January 2012

Summary of the Campaign
In June 2011 the world’s most famous nightclub, Ministry of Sound, was fighting for its life. An international property developer, who was quoted saying “nightclubs come and go” had submitted a proposal to Southwark Council to build a 44-storey residential building just a few metres from Ministry of Sound.

Ministry of Sound was in danger of being shut down if residents in this new building were to make noise complaints. Facing a fight for its future, Ministry took on this challenge and launched the Save Our Club campaign.

The Save Our Club campaign led with public affairs to target key audiences including the deciding London politicians and the general public. The goal of the campaign was to raise awareness that Ministry is an integral part of UK’s cultural fabric, contributes to the local economy, employs hundreds, and makes a positive contribution to the community.

Over the course of a 6-month campaign over 25,000 people signed a petition in protest. 95,933 people visited the Save Our Club website, and Ministry gained significant attention in local, national and international media. Celebrity voices were leveraged, including UK number one recording artists, Example and Wretch 32, who spoke out publicly to defend Ministry.

On October 11th, in a meeting of London’s Southwark Council’s Planning Committee key politicians, local decision-makers, and members of the public came together to see the results of the campaign. The Committee of politicians voted 5-1 to save the world’s most famous nightclub, against the explicit recommendations of planning officers.

The Situation
Ministry of Sound is the world’s most famous nightclub. Based in London it is the headquarters for an international record label (the world’s largest independent label).

An international property developer submitted a planning proposal to Southwark Borough to build a 44-storey tower immediately opposite the Club. If built, Ministry faced the danger of closing due to noise complaints.

Lawyers and sound experts confirmed this tower would mean the club’s end.

There was no public awareness of the threat. The application for the tower block was heading for approval.

The situation was desperate: Save Our Club campaign was launched.

The Goal
To highlight to London politicians the dangers posed by this application.

To make politicians aware that residents of new tower blocks can legally complain about pre-existing uses, including nightclubs.

To prevent construction of a 44-storey tower block which would lead to the closure of the nightclub, the loss of jobs, and loss of millions of pounds to London’s economy.

Target audiences included the Planning Committee of the London Borough of Southwark, Southwark Councillors, London Members of Parliament, UK national and London media.

To achieve the public affairs goal of winning, against expectations, the vote at October 2011’s Planning Committee Meeting.

The Strategy
A 4,000-word final phase campaign plan was produced in August 2011 identifying all actions and audiences required until decision day.

Deploy the Save Our Club brand as the overarching theme underpinning all public affairs actions.

Create a powerful body of evidence and a wave of public support demonstrating to London politicians that Ministry of Sound is an invaluable and much-loved part of Britain and London’s cultural landscape.

Communicate to London politicians the support of ordinary British people about the threat facing this nightclub.

Highlight the reality that the case put forward by Ministry of Sound was synonymous with the agendas and motivation of the politicians taking the decisions.

Use public affairs supported by social media to show Ministry is an iconic contributor to London life.

Systematically and publicly demonstrate Ministry’s activities in the community - contributing to London through jobs, volunteer work, donations to schools and charities.

Execution
Briefing materials and sound audits were presented to Members of Parliament, Southwark Planning Committee Councillors, the Mayor of London and other dignitaries. A letter-writing campaign sent hundreds of letters to local politicians, augmenting awareness of Save Our Club and political support.

Social media activities linked Ministry’s Facebook page to much followed groups: Timeout London, Rough Guides, Visit London and Southwark College.

Celebrities like Example, Armin van Buuren, Wretch 32, Pete Tong, and Judge Jules tweeted on behalf of Save Our Club.

Over 3,000 residents were personally written to by Ministry of Sound’s CEO.

Over 2,500 flyers were distributed to local residents and commuters.

Over 200 local businesses were sent letters or given posters, and thousands of flyers were given to clubbers.

During the 6-month campaign, over 20 press releases were issued to local and national media.

Documented Results
The strategic public affairs campaign resulted in coverage in the Guardian, Evening Standard, BBC News, BBC News London, Southwark News and South London Press.

An online petition was launched which collected over 25,000 signatures, later hand delivered to Southwark Council by Ministry of Sound’s CEO and international recording artist, Example.

Special briefing materials and proactive meetings with the London Mayor’s office portrayed a thoughtful socio-economic argument for Ministry’s survival.

Over 22,000 people ‘liked’ the campaign on Facebook and Ministry’s Facebook page linked to celebrities totalling millions of followers.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds' worth of media coverage was achieved.

Approaching midnight on October 11th, 2011 the Southwark Council Planning Committee voted 5-1 to save the world’s most famous nightclub despite huge lobbying by the applicant and the Council’s own planning officers.

The campaign had been a success, and Ministry of Sound was saved for now.