We have worked with Waitrose since October 2006 to provide PR, PA and local community relations support in Scotland, working as an extension of the in-house press and PA teams.
• To proactively position Waitrose on topical issues and debates relating to its business, both with the Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament, local opinion formers.
• To promote Waitrose’s points of difference including supplier relationships and its partnership structure through the media
• To handle new store launches and community consultation work around planned new stores.
• We handled the announcement for Waitrose’s third store in Scotland and its first in Glasgow securing the “sort of attention normally reserved for a major national news story” [Will Lyons, writing in Scotland on Sunday on 12.07.09], including page lead coverage in every major Scottish national paper and all major on line news sites. We subsequently handled the official launch and opening, again securing full pages in The Herald, The Evening Times and broadcast coverage including BBC and STV news bulletins.
• Our media work around the Waitrose/Country Living Made in Britain Awards is typical of our day to day work for Waitrose. Managing all local and regional media work around the Scottish shortlisted companies, we researched the stories and interviewed the three companies, securing 14 separate pieces of print and online coverage. We then managed the announcement of the 2009 Made in Britain Food Champion of the Year, a halibut farmer from the Hebridean island of Gigha, securing an exclusive half page feature in The Herald and a five minute feature on BBC TV’s Landward programme. We also secured an endorsement quote from Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs & The Environment, for the news release. The story subsequently featured in a bi-annual Parliamentary e-newsletter which we write for the John Lewis Partnership in Scotland. Sales of Gigha Halibut increased 42 percent during December 2009.
• On the PA side, our weekly Political Intelligence reports for Waitrose track relevant issues in Parliament, trade associations, Government and the media, allowing us to help Waitrose “punch above its weight” in Scotland, despite only having currently three stores. At a local level, we worked to secure Waitrose an early foothold in the debate around plastic carrier bags and recycling in Edinburgh, helping the Branch Manager to develop a good relationship with Mike Pringle MSP who subsequently lodged a Parliamentary Motion congratulating Waitrose on its Green Tills initiative. At a national level, we have helped Waitrose to contribute to the Scottish Government’s National Food Policy, attracting particular interest from Ministers and civil servants for its unique sourcing policies.
"Since announcing our ambitions for Glasgow, Pagoda have played an invaluable role in continuing to raise the profile of the Waitrose brand and communicating our core values as a business to new audiences. They have developed a clear and effective strategy, which has successfully generated prominent media coverage and helped drive footfall to the new store."
Property & Development Communications Manager, Waitrose Communications