ICON In The News – Final Piece Of Track Installed

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Last week saw a significant milestone reached in the development of ICON, Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s new £16.25 million rollercoaster as the final piece of track was installed.

Under the watchful eye of the media, coordianted by Rule 5 and Blackpool Pleasure Beach, the last piece of gleaming grey steel was hoisted into place, completing the 1.14 kilometre track.

The process was conducted by a 50-strong team over a five month period and sees Blackpool Pleasure Beach another step closer to launching what will be the world’s most interactive rollercoaster.

Amanda Thompson OBE, Managing Director at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, commented; “Since construction work began in December 2016 we have seen numerous pieces of material hoisted into position in anticipation of this moment.

“The track comprises of hundreds of tonnes of world-class steel transported from Germany and manufactured using state-of-the-art engineering processes for a smoother, faster and more exhilarating ride than ever experienced before.”

Nick Thompson, Deputy Managing Director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach, adds; “Today is the culmination of an intense design and engineering process to bring a ride that is the first of its kind to the UK.

“The completion of ICON’s track has been no easy feat, as it loops through and around the Pleasure Beach’s other rides 15 times. To see the track in its entirety is hugely rewarding and brings us a significant step closer to sharing this unique rollercoaster experience with the public in spring 2018.”

Activity saw yet another strong burst of media coverage for ICON, leading the lunchtime and evening news on BBC North West Tonight along with national UK print titles The Sun and MirrorOnline.  A wealth of regional, leisure and tourism titles underpinned coverage.  ICON will launch in spring 2018.

The PR campaign delivered by Rule 5 and Blackpool Plesure Beach to promote the new rollercoaster, has been nominated for Media Relations Campaign of the Year in the 2018 PRmoment Awards.  The same campaign won Best Use of Media Relations at the CIPR NorthWest Awards in 2017.

A Swell of Coverage for Sea Life Manchester

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The agency has delivered a swell of national coverage for client Sea Life Manchester and its national terrapin appeal.

The conservation story, Don’t Flush, urged Brits to think twice before buying terrapins as pets, as Sea Life centres are swamped with requests to re-home un-wanted Christmas gifts.  Owners are believed to take shocking and unthinkable measures to dispose of the creatures, with terrapins flushed down toilets.

Adding further weight to the campaign, which saw coverage on the world’s most visited news website the MailOnline, alongside the SunOnline, IndependentOnline, AOL, BTonline and a wealth of regional titles, was news that Sea Life Manchester had renamed one of its terrapins Loo.  Visitors can see Loo at the Manchester attraction located at Barton Square, Trafford Park.

Speaking on the subject, Alan Kwan, Lead Curator at Sea Life Manchester, said: “People wrongly assume that terrapins are going to be easy to care for. What they don’t realise is that they grow from 3cm in length (hand-sized) to 30cm in length (large dinner plate) and live between 30-50 years.

“Global warming and the resulting rise in temperatures across British waterways is leading to abandoned terrapins breeding and growing in population. Native to Florida, this alien predatory reptile is having a damaging effect on British pondlife and waterfowl with fish, frog, frogspawn and ducklings falling prey.”

Rule 5 co-founder Jules Wilson said: “We were confident of our ability to drive strong coverage with this story, combining hard-hitting conservation messages with creative tactics to maximise reach.  The team delivered a brilliant job in what is our first month of work with Sea Life Manchester.”

 

 

2018 Predicted By Pinterest

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Pinterest, the platform described by CEO Ben Silbermann as a “catalogue of ideas” that inspires users to “go out and do that thing” has evolved into a trend prediction platform.

Launched in the US in 2010 the social media site has, in comparison to platforms Facebook and Instagram, struggled to develop as a commercial retail platform, despite garnering over 175 million daily users.

Media outlets and retailers are, however, now fully realising the benefits of Pinterest as a customer insight tool and not just a sales one.  It’s a move that sees the power shift between consumers and retailers move increasingly in consumer favour, with users’ daily pins no longer just capturing trends but informing them.

Published every December Pinterest 100 captures the top 100 biggest trends based on the activity of its subscribers.   Style, beauty and home decor are just some of the categories covered, with analysts looking for topics that showed critical mass, grew at least 50% in 2017 and trended up towards the end of the year.  You can view 2018’s top trends to try here.

Such is the credibility of the predictions, leading influential media outlets are using the platform as a source for new season forecasting features, the very articles that influence our buying behaviour for the year.  Coveteur, WhoWhatWear, the Daily Mail. Metro and Instyle are just a handful of those that have run over recent weeks.

In a world where data is gold, it’s no surprise Pinterest plan to further build on the predictions.  This year the platform will launch Audience Insights, a subscriber based tool that will afford businesses the opportunity to take a deeper look at its audience and how it engages.  The tool will be available to US business accounts early in the year and is expected to roll out to follow.

With traffic to Pinterest having increased significantly over the last six months, the platform’s potential to inform new product development and business marketing strategies is only set to grow.

The use of the platform by media outlets as a source for seasonal trend features isn’t new but it is gathering momentum.  Where trends were once dictated by designers and magazine publishers, consumers are increasingly the ones to watch.

A New ICON For Blackpool Pleasure Beach

It’s not every day you get to work with an ICON but we were pleased to do just that when we unveiled the name of Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s new £16.25 million rollercoaster  – Icon – to the press.

Revealed in a dramatic sizzle – a movie-style promotional trailer, adrenaline enthusiasts were treated to a taste of what will be the world’s most exciting rollercoaster, featuring 15 interactions with other rides at the famous amusement park.

Unveiling more than just the name of the rollercoaster, the sizzle provided a first look at the design, with a state-of-the-art computer generated image revealing anthracite columns combined with a high-shine steel track.  A CGI film took viewers on the ICON journey as it powers through, over and around other rides including The Big One.

An incredible show of coverage was enjoyed and saw:

  • Ten national features including: the world’s most visited news website, the MailOnline, the SunOnline, The Sun, Mirror.co.uk, i news, Metro, Metro.co.uk, the EveningStandard, the Daily Record and the Daily Star
  • The news carried on every single ITV North West news bulletin with a combined reach of over 3,960,000 people
  • Over 190 regional articles
  • Exposure in all core trade press

At the time of writing print coverage alone saw a reach of over 18.3m people.  The sizzle, posted on Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Facebook page had been seen by over  408,000 people, driven 3,600 shares and 4,300 engagements.

Speaking on the name unveil, Blackpool Pleasure Beach Managing Director Amanda Thompson OBE, added: “ICON is going to be one of the most talked about, iconic rollercoasters of the future.  The name speaks for itself as it will be one of the most iconic rides on the planet

“This is Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s biggest investment to date and will have a real impact on the town and region as a whole.”

ICON will launch in 2018.

Jules Wilson Recognised In Top 100 Inspiring Women List

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The agency’s co-founder Jules Wilson has been recognised in a list of Greater Manchester’s most inspirational women.

The Top 100 Inspiring Women list was compiled by Greater Manchester Business Week and celebrates those that have made their mark on the county.

The list of female trailblazers includes entrepreneurs, sportswomen, lawyers, fashion icons, artists and politicians, with many of the names suggested by the region’s leaders.

Shelina Begum, business editor of Greater Manchester Business Week, said: “We wanted to highlight, celebrate and create a discussion around the achievements of women in the region.

“As business editor I feel inspired by the women on our list, many who I have written about, and I wanted other women to feel inspired too.

“Manchester and the surrounding regions has some great role models and it’s important that we highlight the work that these women are doing, many who are making an impact in the region.”

Four Nominations In The PRmoment Awards

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The agency has been shortlisted four times in this year’s PRmoment Awards.

Rule 5 is nominated in four categories including Boutique Agency of the Year, Social Media Campaign of the Year, Best Use of Content, and Health, Beauty, Retail and Fashion Campaign of the Year.

Shortlisted entries include campaigns for The 2016 Track Cycling World Championships (x2) and premium cycle wear brand, Fat Lad At The Back.

The PRmoment Awards recognise the very best communications and PR professionals across the UK and are judged by eminent industry representatives.  This year’s awards saw over 850 entries.

Results will be announced at an awards dinner at the Hilton Manchester on March 16.

Rule 5 is the New Ingredient for Pesto Restaurants

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Independent Italian restaurant group Pesto Restaurants has appointed the agency to deliver its PR and marketing communications strategy.

The retained brief will see the team provide support for all eight restaurants, located in the North West and Midlands.  The agency will also be responsible for the marketing of all future developments including Pesto at Davenport Arms, the business’ latest £600,000 development due to launch in Marton, East Cheshire, next month.

Activity is already underway with the team working to further raise the profile of Pesto Restaurants, developing Group and regional specific programmes.  Social media, CRM, events and communications activity are key components of the brief.

Speaking on the appointment, co-owner of Pesto Restaurants Sara Edwards said: “This is the first time we have looked to employ an agency and it was important for us to find a partner that fully understood our business as well as the sector.

“Rule 5 has a very good reputation in the industry.  Their professionalism and knowledge of the sector was evident from the off and we’re confident they will contribute significantly to the future success of Pesto Restaurants.  We are excited to start the new year with a new opening and a new partnership.”

Rule 5 Founding Director Julie Wilson added:  “Pesto Restaurants is an incredibly interesting business.  The scope of work and openness of the founders to explore new strategic approaches as they look to the next phase of expansion makes this a particularly exciting brief; it’s great to be on board.”

For further information on Pesto Restaurants visit http://pestorestaurants.co.uk/find-a-restaurant/

NRB & El Gato Negro Lead BBC News

NRB Blog 2.pngThis week we announced news of our work with the North’s largest hospitality exhibition, Northern Restaurant and Bar.

Today we share just one of the quality pieces of coverage achieved, as seen on BBC North West Tonight.

The feature, which aired on the lunchtime and evening shows, was secured on the back of the acclaimed exhibition’s study into the North’s most ‘restauranty’ cities, and provided exposure not just for Northern Restaurant and Bar but Rule 5 client El Gato Negro.

“It came as no great surprise to have research officially confirm that the Northern restaurant scene is booming. Talented chefs are realising the wealth of opportunity within the North, setting up their own ventures and cooking their hearts out for an appreciative audience” said Chief Executive of Northern Restaurant and Bar, Thom Hetherington.

“The positive coverage on the region’s restaurant scene this week -aired on BBC North West Tonight and delivered by Rule 5- has given the food industry the exposure it deserves. Our visitor numbers at the Northern Restaurant & Bar show are at a high.”

The coverage is just one example of the agency’s ability to seize the news agenda and develop a story with real broadcast appeal. Our clients’ objectives are firmly rooted at the heart.  You can watch it here.

 

Tips from the top. What journalists really think when you’re selling-in

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Selling in is core to a PR’s role and as the media landscape continues to evolve and develop, so must we. We are never too old or ‘good at PR’ to learn new tricks and getting insight from our peers is fundamental to growing our expertise.

That said, hearing those nine magical words – ‘can you send it through to the news desk’ – when you’ve finally managed to reach a real person after hours of being stonewalled by man’s friend, voicemail, can be frustrating.

News creation and distribution agency 72Point hosted a breakfast seminar last Thursday. Hosted by Doug Shields, Sam Allcock and Chris Brooks, the talk offered insider tips and advice to help extend the reach of radio, press and digital campaigns.

Notebooks, pens and mobile phones in hand to tweet using the official #72seminar hashtag, Account Executives Chidi and Rachel headed into town to hear what they had to say.

Here are just a few of the tips we came away with:

  1. Send stories early

Journalists on national news desks start their day around 7 or 8am and head into news meetings at 10am. Get your news to them as early as possible to give yourself the best chance of getting on their agenda.

News site web traffic is at its peak at 9am, 1pm and 4pm, with the most popular content featured prominently on home pages and in dedicated ‘trending’ sections.

  1. Keep it brief on the phone and don’t overlook the power of newswires

Tell them you’ve got a story and read the first paragraph. You’ll know if you’ve got their attention if they keep listening. Having the story on a newswire gives it extra credibility too.

  1. Paid for promotions are worth thinking about

So you’ve secured coverage on a national news site and have hit a KPI. Being published shouldn’t mark the end of your activity. You should share links on social media and consider boosting your posts. What works in print shouldn’t be confined to that – extend the reach of all stories in rounded and integrated outreach.

  1. Know your audience

Think about tailoring copy to fit in with style of your target title, as it will be noticed. This is especially true for radio. A press release written as a 15 second news bite shows the story at its full potential. Don’t forget to send the full story along with it for background.

  1. Time is a premium

Make a journalist’s job as straightforward as possible. They just don’t have the time to chase you for extra information. Put the story’s key facts in bullet points at the top – the body of your release might be edited when published, but the most important details will remain.