In 2016, Plum were appointed by the Town Centre Partnership in Weston-super-Mare to produce a communications strategy for Weston-super-Mare’s Business Improvement District’s (BID) renewal. Plum also undertook the delivery and implementation of the communications plan from April to December 2016.
Weston Business Improvement District has been in operation since 2012 and was due to end in March 2017. The purpose of the BID is to raise the profile, improve the perception and increase trade, in the town centre. With Weston BID entering its final phase of its first term, they contacted Plum to help with achieving success in the renewal process (reballot)
The communications activity included delivering a fully-integrated campaign encompassing elements of marketing, advertising and PR.
- Communicate the successes of the past 4 years (2012-2016) to the local business community.
- Explain the process of the ballot renewal to businesses in the BID area.
- Secure engagement for both consultation and voting from the 400+ target businesses in the area.
- Communicate the new business plan for 2017-2022 to target audience and stakeholders.
- Build support for the renewal of the BID.
- Deliver a strong ‘call-to-action’ to encourage businesses to vote.
Our strategy focused on raising awareness of the BID renewal, creating interest and engagement in the consultation process and motivating businesses to vote yes in the renewal ballot.
We aimed to achieve all of this via different forms of communication and different media platforms. Our strategy included writing and distributing news releases to local media, writing content for and managing all of the BID social media channels, assisting the BID team with content, design and distribution of their monthly newsletter, consultation documents including a business plan. At the outset, we design a ‘Back the BID’ renewal logo (above) to support the campaign and then we created a managed a dedicated website (www.westonbid.co.uk) to underpin the communications activity.
- 64% increase to website traffic, including over 100 unique visitors in one day during peak time of the campaign.
- Increased awareness of Weston BID across the target geographic area with over 200 stakeholders engaging in consultation activity.
- Ten pieces of significant media coverage in key media outlets, including South West Business Insider, Bristol Post, North Somerset Times, in addition to frequent coverage in the Weston and Somerset Mercury and a nine-minute piece of coverage on the Emma Britton breakfast who on BBC Radio Bristol.
- 20% rise in post engagement on Facebook and an 83% increase in click-throughs to the website from social media channels.
The BID was successfully renewed in Weston-super-Mare by ballot in December 2016, generating an investment of £1.25m over five years (2017-2022).
“Plum were an integral part of helping renew the BID for another five year term. They helped us with our social media management and getting us constant media coverage in the local papers. What’s more, Karen and her team at Plum were always happy to go the extra mile for us and we really appreciate all of their help. We would highly recommend the Plum team as a consistent and creative agency and look forward to working with them in the future.”
Steve Townsend, Weston-super-Mare Town Centre / BID Manager