January 22nd, 2016
Digging Deep For The Benefit of Culture & Tourism PR
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been getting stuck in to two new culture and heritage PR accounts, which both see us working extensively within Cumbria, the Lake District.
In some ways, one of the accounts is a little like déjà vu, given all the PR work we’ve handled in the past for tourism bodies that used to exist – the South Lakes Tourism Action Group and the Western Lake District Tourism Partnership. One of the accounts is also very much focused on cluster group PR and marketing. It was our experience in this field that partly enabled us to win this account, although the bright and sparky ideas – as usual – also wowed.
Knowing how to maximise cluster group PR is absolutely key when handling this type of account. It is very easy to get drawn in by individual members of a cluster group, who are the most pro-active and most ready to try to elicit support. The other easy, or rather lazy thing for a PR person to do, is to simply talk about activities taking place at individual attractions, merely, in fact, duping the marketing that the individual attractions are already doing.
Tourism cluster group PR should be about the group and should constitute stand-alone initiatives that make waves in the media and bring shared benefits to all members of the group. That’s precisely what we’re working on right now, currently doing the really hard groundwork that needs to take place, researching the product of all members, digging around for angles, making links and then becoming inspired as we weave all of this together to make our bright ideas fly. The trouble with a lot of cluster group PR, however, is that it has no bright ideas, leaving it as flat as a pancake and doing little for the individual members who hoped to get their share of the exposure benefits.
Sometimes, this dull regime comes about because the cluster group itself isn’t bold, or thinks it knows best about what’s needed, thus failing to take on board the ideas, not to mention the consultancy advice. We’re lucky, in this case, to be working with people who want to go for it with their marketing, recognise that this requires ideas and also realise that there’s no point employing a PR consultant, if you think you know best and want to treat people as just a PR agent. There’s a big difference between consultant and agent, but consultants can only work with people willing to accept consultancy advice.
With this account, it really is a case now of rolling up the sleeves, spending hours on the computer, taking notes and highlighting connections. In fact, it reminds me greatly of life as a history student, sitting in the Seeley or the University Library in Cambridge, or the India Office Library in London, trawling through historical documents and ancient copies of The Times on microfiche, in order to find the relevant information. The only difference is that we now have computers! Having learned the skill the hard way, it’s actually a lot easier these days … and there’s no 30-minute wait for the library staff to locate and bring out the relevant volumes!
The other culture and tourism account is exciting, because it’s not going to just be culture and tourism PR, but also tourism lobbying. It’s all hush-hush for now, but the groundwork is now taking place, so that we can push the button at some point over the coming months and really start shouting about what should and could be. This reunites me with a client with whom time just seems to skip by, with whom I’ve been locked inside a car park, because time skipped by, and with whom I have a great rapport and a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to it.
This culture and tourism work sits nicely alongside our restaurant, food and catering PR, which, in turn, dovetails at times with our insurance PR. Monday will see us progressing another lobbying/culture/tourism PR initiative, this time in Northumberland, another of our PR hunting grounds, besides Cumbria, being Northumberland, County Durham and Tyneside. Before that, however, we have rather an enticing food and drink engagement in Morecambe … we really do get to do some amazing things in this job!
If you have a PR account, in these sectors, or others, don’t be afraid to just pick up the phone and have a chat, or email me to find out more. I’m always happy to discuss things and outline options.
Call 01253 891114 or email firstname.lastname@example.org