Megan Dacey comments on the need to engage with consumers on a local level and what this means for the delivery of retail PR.
The way people shop is ever-changing and that in turn changes the way we communicate with them.
Online shopping has continued to grow exponentially for a number of years but according to Mintel this growth is now beginning to slow and we are already seeing the effects of this up and down the country as stores and centres adapt to entice customers who shop online and offline interchangeably.
Retail communications is no longer ‘grab and go’ – we are reverting back to offering experiences and personal rewards to visitors as the focus shifts from footfall growth to increasing spend, dwell time and encouraging repeat visits.
At St David’s Cardiff – Wales’ leading retail and leisure destination – this hyper-local approach has seen great success throughout the year. By tapping into the pride of the Welsh, a number of campaigns have been delivered that resonate with shoppers and get tongues wagging.
The centre and cult local brand I Loves The ‘Diff have embarked on a partnership that brings the spirit of the city to life. From events that give away personalised Cardiff themed prints, to huge artwork being displayed throughout the centre, the collaboration has brought Welsh humour and quirkiness into the country’s largest shopping and leisure destination.
2016 has been the year of the Welsh and with unparalleled success in the Euros, the centre decided to close early for the semi-final to enable its 4,000 staff to watch the game. This bold decision resulted in nationwide conversation and praise – another way that the centre has placed itself at the heart of the city.
Consumers cannot be squeezed into a certain audience set because behaviours and interests are varied, and individuals are continuing to look for an experience that fits and resonates with them. Across the UK, shopping destinations are beginning to realise that it’s not all about quick transactions, it’s about celebrating the people that walk through the doors every day.
On Thursday James attended the Marks & Spencer Christmas (yes, Christmas!) press show in London with Media Wales journalist, Kathryn Williams. Aside from sampling the sumptuous delights set to grace tables in six months’ time, they both had a go at decorating their own Christmas cupcakes and profiteroles and even had a chance to design their very own flavoured gin to take away. Kathryn quickly ran a story following their trip which you can see on Wales Online here: http://bit.ly/29InbNN. It might only be July, but our mouths are watering for Christmas already!
Richard was also out and about as he was invited to share a stage with the new editor of The Western Daily Press, Gavin Thompson at the South West PM Forum, hosted by our client Burges Salmon. Gavin and Richard shared insights with the audience of professional services marketeers about how to pitch to journalists and how to get the most out of your PR agency.
We were also lucky enough to be involved in the launch of the Better Food Company in what’s set to be Bristol’s newest food quarter, Wapping Wharf. As well as securing pre-open day coverage, our team – led by Helen – organised a number of on-the-day interviews and reviews, including this one by the Bristol Post’s food reviewer, Mark Taylor: http://bit.ly/29JLUhU.
©Simon Galloway 2016. All Rights Reserved.
The idea of pursuing PR first came to me in a careers advice meeting at age 18. The suggestion of this potential career path was met with the usual teenage shrug and a murmured, “No, I don’t think that’s for me.” In all honesty, coming from a small Cornish town, I didn’t know what PR was.
Fast-forward three years and I’m sat writing this blog post on my last day of work experience at Grayling. It’s funny how things work out, isn’t it?
I’m currently in my second-year at UWE, studying Journalism and PR, which has been very insightful in terms of where I see myself after graduation. Consequently there is no doubt in my mind that PR is the path I want to take.
While I had already undertaken work-experience in PR, I was still apprehensive on my first day at Grayling and was unsure of what would greet me. I needn’t have worried. Greeted by the Dacey duo, Meg and Cait, I was immediately put at ease and felt like a part of the team that same day.
It was impressive to see that my whole experience had been timetabled in advance so I could see exactly what I’d be doing and what was expected of me. In my short time in the Bristol Office, I was given the chance to take part in a wide range of activities including; photo-calls, selling in stories to the media and writing content for blogs and social media platforms. Working mainly on the M&S Spark Something Good campaign, I was amazed at just how much the team juggled. It made me determined to try my best and not let them down when it was obvious they all worked tirelessly and loved their jobs.
I’m incredibly grateful to the whole team at Grayling for their warm welcome, enduring support and complete professionalism. It’s been such a privilege to work with an amazing team and undertake a workload that has both challenged and interested me. My eyes have been opened wider to the industry and I know that my time here at Grayling can only benefit me for the future.
No longer a shrugging 18 year old, I’m happy to say that I’ve learnt what PR is to me – an ideal career. Unlike many students, I’ll be graduating from university next year without fear or apprehension because I know that there are so many exciting opportunities in PR for me to explore.