JWA Newsletter Autumn 08.indd



JWA Newsletter Autumn 08.indd
Autumn 2008
Slezská 63, 130 00 Prague 3, Czech Republic, Tel: (+420) 242 454 740, Email: [email protected], www.jwa.cz
Dear JWA Clients and Friends,
I am sure that many of you will agree that we have been
living through some pretty strange months! I remember
when I was first here in the early 90s everyone used to
say that we should all just close down for July and August
(if only!) as no-one would be working, but this soon changed
and for us, quite often, these were the most difficult months
– our clients definitely expected us to be working, our
staff definitely expected to have some time off (!) and the
journalists and lots of our suppliers were rarely available.
This year, though, we had a real lull before a huge storm
– a very quiet July and August and the craziest start to
September ever! There is not a lot I can say about it
right now, but it has definitely been interesting!
This leads me nicely into something that one of my friends
told me after reading our last newsletter – he pondered out
loud how many people really understood what a PR agency
actually does, mentioning one of the clients that we had
talked briefly about and asking what, exactly, we had done
for them other than banging out a few press releases and
organising a couple of events! I thought, therefore, that it
might be interesting if we included in each newsletter a very
brief ‘case study’ that, I hope, shows what a PR agency
really does do (other than the obligatory press releases
and events as mentioned!).
And while on the subject of events – I should say that
September might have been crazy, but it started out in
style – pretty much JWA’s first ever client when we were
just two people was Healey & Baker (who then became
Cushman & Wakefield). How great it was, therefore, that
we could organise Cushman’s 15th Anniversary party
on 4th September, having worked with them on and off
since day one. I bet not many agencies can beat that!
Early in the summer we decided that, if things continued as they had been in the
first part of the year, we really needed to find another senior PR person, but despite
advertising, asking around and interviewing lots of different ladies (yes, ladies
again… still no man has thought to try and join us...) we just couldn’t find the one
that had all the right experience, looked the part and fitted in with the rest of us.
We therefore asked our old friend Richard Hunt to put on his ‘hunting’ hat and see
if he could find us someone, and sure enough, soon after, Simona Hanna was sent
along to meet us. Apart from extensive experience in the PR world, Simona looks
great, speaks fluent English and, in the tradition of JWA, offers yet another amazing
language skill as she is fluent in Arabic! Simona joined us on 1st August and it feels
as if she has been with us forever!
JWA NEWSLETTER – Autumn 2008
Some of our recent events!
As we have already mentioned,
one of our longest standing
and favourite clients, Cushman
& Wakefield, celebrated its
fifteenth anniversary in the Czech
Republic with a ‘red and blue’
party in Hergetova Cihelna on 4th
September. Over the years, JWA
has organized several events for
C&W, as well as working on a
number of other projects, and
one of our favourites was the
10th Anniversary, which took
place on the same date in the
same venue five years ago! From
our perspective, this event was even better, and you could see
the sort of esteem that C&W is held in by the people that turned
out for the evening. I wonder if we will all be doing the same
thing again in another five years’ time!
Fast on the heels
of the Cushman
& Wakefield
event was the
IBF Gala on
8th September,
held in the
gardens of
Grebovka Villa.
Even though
this was an event for the IBF, such was the scale of the
evening that JWA were involved from the beginning as there
was a lot of event management required; with three sponsors,
two Ambassadors speaking, 400 guests and slightly dodgy
weather, there was a lot of juggling going on beforehand,
but the end result was, we believe, a huge success – many
of you will have been at the event so you were able to judge
for yourselves!
What everyone saw was the opening
itself; three action-packed days of
events, pop bands, fashion shows,
VIP guests and so on, plus an
advertising and promotional campaign
that started about six months before and
ran on until the opening weekend.
What they didn’t see was the
huge and complicated amount
of PR that went on for nearly
three years beforehand.
Problem: the Mayor and councilors
were not sure that they wanted to agree
to the building of the biggest shopping
mall in Europe (at that time) in the middle
of what was, in effect, a small village.
The locals didn’t like it one bit, and there
was an election coming up so the Mayor
was worried about how the situation
would affect his votes.
Our Solution: ongoing support by
the developer for the local community
– sponsorship of sporting events,
the local schools’ art competition,
regular information by way of monthly
newsletters and information boards on
the site, competitions for people living
locally, opportunities to meet celebrities
on the site (ice hockey players signing
autographs, singers performing at the
weekend, etc) with the aim of persuading
the locals that this was a ‘good thing’
and, thereby, encouraging their support
of the Mayor – plus, of course, monthly
meetings with the Mayor and councilors
to up-date them on progress.
Problem: the Letting Agents needed
support to persuade the brands that
they should be in this mall above all
others – bearing in mind that it is 8 km
outside the centre of town, and the
first of its size and scale.
Our Solution: ongoing positive articles
about the mall in the real estate media
(which the potential tenants were most
likely to read), regular events on site
with invitations to potential tenants
(a) to visit and see the scale of the
development, (b) to meet other tenants
either signed or otherwise, and (c) to
make potential tenants feel that they
were something ‘special’.
Problem: the Czech Republic was
not sure that it was ready for so many
shopping malls and hypermarkets at
this time and the media was, in general,
writing fairly negative reports on the
effects of such schemes, which had
the potential to undo the good work
that was being done with regard to the
Letnany residents and likely tenants.
Our Solution: a proactive and
consistent national media campaign,
positioning ourselves/the developer as
the experts on hypermarket development
and stressing all the benefits that the
hypermarkets bring to the area which, of
course, required a significant amount of
research and preparation (often using the
UK as an example) – the number of jobs
brought to the area, the improvements to
transport links, the number of additional
leisure activities that the hypermarkets
bring (usually cinemas, sporting
possibilities (in the case of Letnany
an ice rink and swimming pool), the
increase in the value of property in the
area, the additional parking and so on.
The Result: the launch campaign
for Obchodni Centrum Letnany was
voted the best marketing campaign
for a shopping mall in the whole of the
Czech Republic for that particular year.