In 2018, for the second year running, we were tasked with overseeing the PR for BBC Good Food Show and BBC Gardeners' World Live at The NEC. We worked alongside the events teams offering PR support leading up to the shows, generating coverage during the events and providing support at the press lounge.
The main objectives for BBC Good Food Show and BBC Gardeners' World Live were to drive awareness, ticket sales and deliver coverage for both shows. Coverage was to include joint show and individual editorial placements and talent interviews whilst working alongside both marketing teams to deliver cohesive and supercharged PR with visible results.
Could we beat this year's challenging KPIs? Could we deliver fresh coverage and secure features on TV and radio, increase regional coverage with the key objective to drive footfall to the event?
The focus of our PR activity was to maximise press and media interest through talent interviews, features and generating leads across media. Confirming broadcast opportunities would be essential for boosting national and regional coverage.
For broadcast coverage, we secured a TV segment with BBC Midlands Today, which covered the story of a vintage steam train being transported from Tyseley Locomotive Works to The NEC where it completed the award-winning Made in Birmingham show garden. This was filmed over several days, with the final recording broadcast ahead of the weekend on the first day of the show during prime time TV.
With a strong focus on interview opportunities for talent across both shows, we were able to secure interviews in both national and regional print including features with Raymond Blanc, Tom Kerridge, The Hairy Bikers and Diarmuid Garvin. We also secured a regional feature in the Birmingham Mail, with three local chefs with a cult following (Brad Carter, Lap-fai Lee and Aktar Islam) who were invited to demonstrate on the BBC Good Food Stage. We also arranged further interviews to take place during the shows where we provided on the day support and interview management.
Both shows saw an increase in visitors and we surpassed our KPI targets for 2018.
PR activity generated 470 pieces of coverage in total with a combined online readership of over 3 billion. Highlights include features in national papers with coverage in i newspaper, The Guardian and Observer Magazine. Broadcast features were also secured on BBC Midlands Today, BBC WM, BBC Coventry & Warwickshire, BBC Hereford & Worcester, BBC Shropshire and BBC Stoke. Further coverage included Free Radio, Made in Birmingham TV in addition to lifestyle titles through competitions and interviews in Female First, Express and Star, Bella, Closer, Woman and Woman's Weekly.