Kent agency smashes National PR campaign…again!

Random Person: ‘Where are you based?’

Rise: ‘Just South of Maidstone in Kent’

Random Person: ‘Oh…‘

Rise: ‘Oh?’

Random Person: ‘Well, I assumed you’d have to be based in London to run a National PR Campaign’

Rise: ‘Pull up a chair…let us tell you how it is!’

We have lost count of the number of times we’ve heard the words ‘we are seeing London agencies too’ when we are pitching for new business; this usually elicits the response ‘but why?’ from us, More often than not, those we are pitching to can’t answer the question, they just assume that London agencies, with their top London prices, will deliver better results than a more value for money, out of town agency like Rise.

This couldn’t be further from the truth as National Fish and Chip Day 2020 proves…yet again!

For many months there was doubt whether the biggest food awareness day of the year would actually go ahead.  With the majority of the fish and chip sector being forced to close, some for longer than others, while they devised means of re-opening in a way that was safe for their customers and staff alike, it was uncertain whether this celebration of the nation’s favourite dish would happen.  But happen it did, albeit later in the year than the previous four National Fish and Chip Days which we have run the national PR campaigns for since the day was launched.

The new timing of the first week of September worked well for us as we set about doing what we do best…and what we have done for decades…selling in stories to the media – all the media.  From local newspapers to regional broadcasters and national newspapers, TV and Radio to consumer magazines and websites, we spoke to everyone.  You can do that from anywhere – you don’t need a swanky London address and an office with a ball pit and designer light fittings – you need the ability to pick up the phone and talk to journalists and producers – you need a good hook, excellent contacts, the confidence to get people excited about your campaign and puns…lots of puns!  You can do that just as effectively from a farm in Kent as you can from a SoHo office and now, with a second lockdown approaching, and with a huge amount of people working at least some of the time from home, we are hoping the playing field has been levelled somewhat for regional agencies and potential clients will see that it’s about the personalities, the contacts and the most importantly, the ideas and the ability to deliver them rather than an address that is key to being a first class PR agency.

But I digress!  National Fish and Chip Day 2020 was always going to be a different affair – the vast majority of journalists were working from home so we couldn’t send out media packs with smart branded merchandise ahead of the day so we had to rely heavily on relentlessly picking up the phone (something that old school PR’s like us aren’t afraid to do!) and getting the journalists on side.  We sold in feature ideas, set up filming opportunities with successful fish and chip shops across all the regions, delivered fish and chips to the national radio stations from dawn until dusk on the day and helped hundreds of journalists create interesting and exciting content.

As in previous years, we got the #nationalfishandchipday hashtag to number 1 on Twitter by 9am and it stayed trending until the evening; Instagram and Facebook were awash with fish and chip photos all day and night.  Fish and chip shops across the country fully embraced the day and after months of uncertainty, with many struggling to keep afloat, it was amazing to help them celebrate and have such a successful day.

As the client says below, we didn’t know what to expect this year – but we were delighted to be able to deliver an incredible return on investment for our client once again.  Almost 50 million people would have seen, heard or read something about National Fish and Chip Day and the value of the campaign came in at just under £1.5 million…not bad for an out of town agency!

From the client, NEODA:

“National Fish and Chip Day 2020 was always going to be very different to previous years and none of us really knew what to expect, in particular as we moved it from June to September.  The focus this year was very much on the resilience of the fish and chip sector and wow…did that shine through on the day!  We were completely bowled over by the number of shops, both those who have previously celebrated the day with us, but especially the many, many new shops, who got involved in anyway they could.  National and Regional media – TV, Radio and newspapers – were awash with stories of how shops were celebrating the day and social media was full of amazing competitions, activities and photos – exactly what National Fish and Chip Day is all about!  We are delighted that so many shops, who have been so hard hit by the pandemic, embraced their special day and threw everything they had at it!  No matter what unfolds in the coming months, fish and chips will remain at the centre of every community and we are delighted to be able to bring this very special awareness day to the nation.”