Lockdown one, lockdown two, and then lockdown three. The nation and the world have truly lived through a time none of us could ever have imaged, and we are sure that the one thing that got many of us through these endless days is home deliveries.
Whether it’s the excitement of unboxing new loungewear, treating yourself to a takeaway or simply the joy of having a chat with your local delivery man or woman – online ordering truly has been a ray of sunshine for many of us consumers. And for the businesses behind these deliveries – well for them it well and truly has been a lifeline.
Here at Siren, we have had the honour of working with a wide range of businesses throughout this time. Amongst those, we’ve supported some fantastic food and drink brands by keeping them front of mind through media coverage and for some, this allowed them to successfully keep trading through truly uncertain times.
The big PR change
As lockdown began, the whole PR and media industry had to think quick about how we could switch things around to make our tactics work in this new age. Traditional media meetings were cancelled and replaced with zoom briefings and media gifting strategies. And for the food and drink industry – this created a huge opportunity; an opportunity to increase awareness for a new product line, website traffic, tap into a new customer market or even re-engage with an existing, perhaps forgotten about audience. All with the goal, of ultimately increasing that bottom line – sales and brand awareness.
What did we do?
As the nation worked from home we upped our digital output for our clients creating an increased level of opportunity for their services and products to reach their target audience and for each of them, the story and medium was different.
Our work with Octavian, the leading storage facility and custodians of fine wine investment that store over 2 billion pounds worth of wine in their cellars, required strategic thought-leadership placements which, our public relations team delivered though engaging with trade and business led consumer media. As a B2B operation, there was an opportunity to position Octavian as the industry experts and leaders that they are. Interview placements in leading business titles such as Money Week, The Financial Times and trade publications such as Decanter did just that; bringing to life Octavian’s authority and guidance whilst reinforcing the trust their past, existing and new clients rightly should place in them.
For The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, a family-run, independent cheese dairy located in Somerset, creating the only authentic artisanal Cheddar in Cheddar it was all about story telling through the eyes of media and influencers. Rather than interview placements with the team, our strategy was based around product trials. We engaged and worked with leading media titles including The Express, OK! Magazine and The Telegraph alongside social media influencers such as the talented caterer and Chef Milly Taylor on promoting their range of sustainably produced cheddar cheeses.
Promoting their best sellers and seasonal favourites was a great way to push direct sales for specific items as was focusing on promotional offers. As during such turbulent times, both media and influencers became big advocates for promoting the best deals their followers could get their hands on.
As restaurants, bars and F&B stores were forced to close shop, the online shopping business became increasingly saturated as businesses fought for customer retention. In these situations, food and drink PR could not be more important in getting your brand to be the one consumers choose.
Securing coverage in leading media titles that have both targeted and high outreach is key. Our coverage for The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company helped them increase their sales and ultimately (as much as an increase of 400 units being ordered following a single piece of social media coverage), keep their business running. Whilst in the case of Holy Island Gin, they completely ran their stocks dry, forcing them to increase production.
It was for our wonderful and beloved client Ruth at Ruth’s Little Kitchen that social media based public relations took centre stage. Prior to lockdown, Ruth, an award-winning baker and chef, became well-known and respected within her own circles in the Surrey area. Ruth turned to team Siren once she was ready to expand her brand outreach nationwide.
Through developing a series of Instagram Live videos, digital content creation and media outreach, we were able to support Ruth in reaching new audiences across the country, even whilst in lockdown. Siren placed stories in London centric newspaper Metro introducing Ruth to the city audience, whilst our coverage in foodie magazine Delicious promoted her baking and cooking services to an audience specifically interested in food and drink.