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Digital & Social Media
Broadcast PR & Content Creation
SECTORSInstitutional Financial Services
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To devise and co-ordinate the communications strategy and launch of the UK’s first High Street bank for more than 100 years and navigate scrutiny around a new entrant.
Launching the first UK High Street bank for more than 100 years was always going to attract ‘attention’. But launching one amidst the worse financial crisis the UK had even seen, meant that scrutiny around a new entrant would be intense – and we had to manage reputation and manage risk.
Reporting directly into the Chairman, we advised creating early advocacy, ‘talkability’ and excitement in the run up to launch that would not only aid discussions around the need for new entrants but lay the foundations for launch.
Our recommendations were rooted in ‘live’ industry and media debate around the need for competition. We built momentum and support by leveraging the appetite for new entrants in the UK post the banking crisis and engaging the business and personal finance media multiple times ahead of launch. We knew that ‘cracking’ the agenda-setting Financial Times, would be key and create a platform for wider interest.
An ‘in-store’ pre- launch briefing was arranged with strict rules of engagement. A series of dinners were orchestrated with senior journalists together with a behind the scenes store tour and ‘updates’ placed with influencers. Come launch day itself , the media lined up outside the Holborn store to take the opening shots – photographers, camera men, reporters – from not only the UK but France and Japan too!
PR was the key driver for awareness for the new brand and account opening – the Holborn store met its first year’s target of account opening in the first month of launch. The mass media launch coverage resulted in more than 450 features across all
media sets (of which 135 were broadcast and 56 were national print). The audience reached over the launch period was 187,393,942. The launch trended on Twitter.