Our client Willows Activity Farm approached us in 2015 with a then confidential brief to provide strategic communications support around the opening of the world’s first Peter Rabbit themed attraction at its site in St Albans, Hertfordshire.
Freshwater conducted a stakeholder mapping exercise and advised on the methods and timings of communicating news of the exciting new attraction to each set of stakeholders, including an internal staff briefing and the public announcement via press.
Working alongside Silvergate Media, the co-producers and global licensing agent of the CGI animated TV series ‘Peter Rabbit’, owners of the Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit brand Penguin Random House, and Lappset Creative, a leading manufacturer of play equipment, we drafted a full suite of materials including key messages and a Q&A document about the development and issues management protocols.
An intensive media relations programme followed between September 2015 and the opening in April 2016, including an initial press announcement, media briefings, photo calls and regular update press releases to capture and maintain media interest. This activity was fully integrated into Willows’ social media channels to ensure maximum reach and impact.
Freshwater also devised and coordinated two preview events of the PETER RABBIT™ Adventure Playground – one for press journalists and one for parenting bloggers, to review the area in advance of the opening date and to ensure coverage would fall at the same time as the official opening.
A photo shoot with Peter Rabbit and a live interview with BBC 3 Counties Radio were coordinated for the day of the launch, and coverage was secured in the ‘First Look’ section of the Sunday Express’ S Magazine prior to the opening.
Between the initial announcement and the grand opening, Freshwater secured 478,481,929 opportunities to see, including 10 pieces of national coverage in the Mail Online, the Guardian and the Sunday Express as well as leisure trade titles, regional news and influential parenting blogs.
PETER RABBIT™ © Frederick Warne & Co. Limited and Silvergate PPL Limited 2016. Based on the works of Beatrix Potter. PETER RABBIT and BEATRIX POTTER are trademarks of Frederick Warne & Co., a Penguin Company. All rights reserved.