Increasing online traffic, media coverage and product placement as Poundland’s retained PR agency
Poundland, Europe’s largest single priced retailer, have retained BOTTLE as their chosen PR agency since 2007, and our retail PR specialists achieve fantastic media coverage and product placement, and have substantially increased online traffic with blog visits and website click-throughs.
- BOTTLE has worked with Poundland since 2007 and has helped the retailer move perception from ‘isn’t that just another pound shop?’ to ‘it’s got amazing value products and big brands’ and real brand engagement. For the past eighteen months, our objective has been to increase the number of shoppers who visit Poundland as part of their weekly shop.
- With no advertising, this mission has to be achieved through social networking channels, and print/broadcast editorial.
- Poundland has to reach corporate audiences too – existing and potential future investors. For this audience, the objective is to highlight Poundland’s growth and success.
- Ensure that Poundland is kept front of mind alongside supermarkets, so that when women are planning the weekly shop, they include Poundland
- Build engagement with a strong brand personality in stores and on the key social networking platform for this audience, Facebook.
- Our first tactic is relentless media relations; constantly on the phone & emails, responding with speed and accuracy to requests from journalists who compile shopping pages. If Tesco’s Christmas crackers are going to be featured in the Mirror, then Poundland’s have to be as well
- But to compete effectively, we have to go beyond this approach. Our mission was to take journalists on a journey to becoming out and out fans of Poundland. The key weapon? Jim McCarthy, the retailer’s CEO, one of the most charismatic men in retail. Store tours with him have worked for both consumer and corporate PR and journalists include Claer Barrett, retail correspondent at the FT, Harry Wallop, retail correspondent at The Telegraph and Ruki Sayid, consumer affairs editor at the Mirror. Full page features resulted in all three. With the Mirror, the relationship building has resulted in inclusion in Cash Queens most weeks and Poundland being the most heavily featured retailer in The Mirror’s ‘bargain Xmas’ articles
- Out on the high street, PR efforts are focused on new stores. Poundland works with Corrie and Emmerdale stars (not part of this budget) for its new store openings last year we started to harness the fanbase on Facebook. Rather than simply announce the attendance of a celeb, we started to run competitions for each opening, to give fans the chance to open the store with the star. It’s not rocket science but Poundland’s fans loved it. Getting your photo taken with a soap star still works.
- Early last year, we recommended that Poundland devote in house resource to running their Facebook page and Twitter stream, as the volume and interest was such that they needed full time monitoring. BOTTLE advises on strategy, which is simple – answer people’s questions quickly, focus on content, run regular competitions to reward loyal customers and to increase the engagement levels; and focus on conversations. The approach has paid off. Poundland now has over 26,000 fans.
- Research by Pragma commissioned by Poundland shows that 50% of British adults have shopped at Poundland and 35% (16m) have shopped there in the past year, 7m in the last month (research undertaken in Spring 2011). By comparison just 2.7m people had shopped at 99p Stores, Poundland’s nearest rival. 30% of regular shoppers say they shop there more often than two years’ ago. Pragma’s research found that one of the busiest pages on the Moneysavingexpert forums is the Poundland bargain thread. The most common type of shopper in Poundland is the ‘circuit shopper’, who comes in regularly for core items but buys others too. Grocery has seen a 56% increase in sales, health and beauty 26% and household a 20% rise. These are all indicators that Poundland has become part of the weekly shop.
- November 2011 - BOTTLE and Poundland entered the Retail Industry Awards ‘Discount Retailer of the Year’ category and won, beating retailers such as Iceland and Lidl in a hard-fought category. As well as being good for industry profile-building, an award like this is fantastic for employee engagement and internal communications. Quite apart from that, it offers a client an ideal opportunity to thank its customers; Poundland has just over 26,000 Facebook fans and very quickly promoted a ‘fan of the year’ competition, as a thank you to its loyal customers. Within minutes, fans were hitting the like button and posting their comments.
- Currently achieving in excess of £500,000 AVE per month in media coverage for Poundland