In October 2021 Gravity PR worked with our client DFDS Seaways to organise the media and PR launch of the Humber Express – the FIRST intermodal rail service from the Port of Immingham with the potential to move 80 containers a day.
The strategy behind The Humber Express, a partnership between shipping giant DFDS Seaways and the iPort Rail inland terminal in Doncaster – to deliver freight from the Port of Immingham to the UK’s most advanced multimodal logistics hub in South Yorkshire.
Our remit was to organise and manage a PR launch of the service at the DFDS railhead at Immingham. Logistically, this wasn’t straight forward. There was no building close to the railhead that would accommodate invited guests from the rail industry, customers, local government and the media and we couldn’t rely on the weather being kind due to the event being held in late October.
Gravity PR organised a heated marquee, guest invites to approximately 100 people, a catering company to provide breakfast sandwiches, hot drinks and orange juice. We even brought in posh portable loos!
We organised a stage and PA equipment for speeches immediately prior to the train’s departure and facilitated media interviews with both print and broadcast journalists.
The result? Positive media coverage for our client across regional and trade media and broadcast coverage across the UK on national BBC news.
Jetset Not Just Travel is an award-winning travel consultancy in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, which is run by husband and wife team Rachael and Colman Coyne.
Jetset Not Just Travel approached Gravity PR in October 2019 to provide strategic PR and communications to increase brand awareness.
The company, founded in 2013, had built up a solid client base and was looking to expand this further to a wider audience whilst still retaining its core values of providing an excellent, personal and reliable service.
Crucial to the company’s success to date is the individual service provided to each customer, no matter where they may be in the world, 24/7. It’s this personal service, always delivered to customers directly by either Rachael or Colman, that sets the company apart and has contributed to their loyal customer base.
Promoting the real people behind the brand, therefore, was a key part of the PR strategy.
Every person and every company has a story to tell that is worthy of gaining positive media coverage. For Jetset Not Just Travel there were two immediate, news-worthy hooks:
The couple met whilst working for West Yorkshire Police in Bradford. Colman was a detective sergeant and Rachael was the helpdesk supervisor and so becoming travel agents was a huge career change – “from dealing with some of the worst periods in people’s lives to providing some of the best memories in people’s lives”
Three months after investing a large sum of money into their new business Rachael was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went through two operations and five months of intensive chemotherapy. Alongside the very personal worries, which were paramount, the couple also feared they would lose the investment in their business as Rachael was too ill to work in it for many months. She was happy to talk openly about that most difficult of times in the couple’s lives because it was an inspiring story full of hope. Even though things were bleak at that time, Rachael, with Colman always by her side, fought through and is now healthy, happy and running the successful business of her dreams that turned over £1.2m last year!
In the following months, two further issues affected the travel industry for which Jetset Not Just Travel could provide expert comment for the media:
The collapse of Thomas Cook
The Covid-19 pandemic
Press releases, along with media pitches tailored to specific journalists, were distributed to secure story placements, interview slots and more in-depth feature articles.
Examples of media take-up in first six months (October 2019 – March 2020):
BBC Radio Leeds:
October 2019: Live, in-studio interview with Colman and Rachael speaking of their career changes from the police to travel agents, along with Rachael’s battle with cancer
January 2020: Colman Coyne interviewed live regarding the latest travel advice to China as the outbreak of Covid-19 began to take hold
March 2020: Rachael Coyne interviewed live re her parents almost being stranded in Australia due to Coronavirus lockdown and how they were currently on their way back to UK via Hong Kong
December 2019: Double page spread in the Lifestyle supplement: “We used to send people to prison, now we send them on holiday”
January 2020: ‘Rugby trip earns award for Jetset’ – Jetset Not Just Travel wins award for group booking of 77 rugby league players and their families to Australia ‘Rugby trip earns award for Jetset’
March 2020: “The husband and wife team behind Jetset Not Just Travel have been working 16-hour days helping customers affected by the travel restrictions relating to Covid-19.”
The Business Desk:
March 2020: The Monday Interview
Work is ongoing to achieve further media coverage and PR opportunities.
Rachael and Colman said: “We have known Mel for nearly 20 years since our previous employment with West Yorkshire Police, where she was a press officer. From the first day we met up with Mel again, she took the time to understand our aims and objectives and how we wished to take our business forward.
“We are very pleased with the results so far. We have been presented to newspapers, magazines and radio. This is something we would never have been able to do ourselves without substantial costs involved whereby we would have had to buy advertising space.
“We’re writing this in April 2020, in the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic. In the current climate we need Mel more than ever to help promote our business and to keep us at the forefront of our potential customers.”
The travel industry is fast paced, with global developments often having an effect on people’s holiday plans. In such an environment, alongside a structured six to 12 months PR activity plan, it is important for PR professionals to react quickly and professionally to breaking news stories and developments in order to keep their client at the forefront in the media, and therefore consumers’ minds, in this very competitive market.
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