ROYAL MAIL THREATENED TO STEAL CHRISTMAS for Kelkoo.com

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ROYAL MAIL THREATENED TO STEAL CHRISTMAS

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Industry Online Retail & E-stores
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Released July 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Retail and E-commerce, including Restaurants
Advertiser: KELKOO
Product/Service: ONLINE COMPARISON SITE
Co-Founder: Sarah Scales (Brands2Life)
Associate Director: Susannah Hardy (Brands2Life)
Senior Account Manager: Joseph Thomas (Brands2Life)
Account Manager: Karla Winch (Brands2Life)
Account Executive: Sally Brown (Brands2Life)
Account Executive: Sarah Musselbrook (Brands2Life)
Public Relations Director: Cristina Rebollo (Kelkoo)
Managing Director: Bruce Fair (Kelkoo)
Media placement: Newspaper - Financial Times - 13.10.2009
Media placement: Newspaper - Daily Mail - 13.10.2009
Media placement: Newspaper - Daily Express - 13.10.2009
Media placement: Newspaper - The Times - 13.10.2009
Media placement: Broadcast - Sky News Bulletin - 15.10.2009
Media placement: Broadcast - BBC London News - 15.10.2009
Media placement: Broadcast - BBC News - 15.10.2009
Media placement: Broadcast - Sky News - 15.10.2009
Media placement: Broadcast - Sky News: Jeff Randall Live - 15.10.2009
Media placement: Newspaper - London Evening Standard - 22.10.2009

Summary of the Campaign
When the Royal Mail launched a series of strike actions, Kelkoo’s PR team seized the opportunity to highlight the damage the strikes would cause to the retail industry and in the process, ensure that Kelkoo was positioned as a company with its finger on the pulse of retail issues in the UK. We commissioned research to find that the strikes would cost UK plc £1.5 billion distributed the press release to news, business, retail, broadcast, online and other key media and secured interviews for Kelkoo UK MD, Bruce Fair resulting in broad-reaching media coverage. The research had to be relevant to the largest cross-section of media possible (not just journalists who cover online shopping) The campaign delivered high-impact, blanket media coverage in media including Forbes, the Wall Street Journal Europe, The FT, Reuters, The Daily Telegraph, Sky News, BBC News. In the 3 hours following the airing of a BBC TV London piece we secured featuring our spokesperson, Bruce Fair, traffic to the site increased by 20%.

The Goal
The news cycle around the postal strikes was moving at a rapid pace – it was top of the news agenda for most media outlets, so we knew we had to work quickly in order to ensure Kelkoo was able to be the first retail commentator in the debate. This was classic news hijacking at its best! Within the space of three working days, we had commissioned the Centre for Economics & Business Research (CEBR) to crunch the first available figures on what the postal strikes would cost UK plc and retailers.

Results
The Kelkoo Campaign, ‘How the Royal Mail Stole Christmas’ ensured that Kelkoo cemented its place as a company with its finger on the pulse of the retail industry. No other competitor commented on what the Mail strikes meant for the industry and for consumers. The campaign delivered high-impact, blanket media coverage in media including Forbes, the Wall Street Journal Europe, The FT, Reuters, The Daily Telegraph, Sky News, BBC News. In addition to generating 92 pieces of coverage, including three front pages, nine broadcast hits, nearly 40 national hits, plus a slew of online coverage, the campaign delivered tangible results for the site. In the three hours following the airing of a BBC TV London piece we secured featuring our spokesperson, Bruce Fair, traffic to the site increased by 20%.

Execution
Discovering that the strikes would cost UK businesses £1.5 billion, we distributed the press release to news, business, retail, broadcast, online and other key media. To ensure our research was relevant to the largest cross-section possible we secured the CEBR to gather data on the following: • An estimate of the economic cost to the UK economy as a whole • An estimate of the economic cost to the UK retail sector specifically • How the cost to the retail sector is split between the high street and online • An equivalent pound figure amount of that cost to every retail business This proved that the strikes would cause widespread, costly damage to an industry which had suffered during the recession. When the news hit announcing that the Royal Mail was taking further strike action in November, we updated our statistics and developed a second story which gained more coverage.

The Situation
In the last six months of 2009, we had a very clear cut and singular objective – to position Kelkoo as an expert in retail and as THE destination for online shopping. To do this, we had to seek out every which way possible to raise awareness of Kelkoo and its expertise to drive traffic to the website. When the Royal Mail launched a series of strike actions, we seized on the opportunity to highlight the damage the strikes would cause to the retail industry in the process.

The Strategy
At a time when the retail industry was just starting to see the first signs of a turnaround, the Royal Mail’s industrial action kicked into high gear. Regional strikes had already left 30 million items of mail undelivered and national strikes were planned. We could see that the Royal Mail was threatening to steal Christmas, creating not only havoc for consumers, but for the retail industry as a whole. Given that deliveries are the key to customer satisfaction and repeat business for online retailers, we knew that the Royal Mail strikes were an issue that Kelkoo could own in the media – highlighting the company’s expertise in online retailing.