Celebrating the thriving business community on our own doorstep, we helped Derby’s two Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) with a year-round programme of news, articles and broadcast opportunities.
✔ Radio & TV interviews
✔ Live breakfast broadcast
✔ Regular slot to promote local businesses in Derby Telegraph
Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) have become an important and influential part of Britain’s economy, providing businesses in many towns and cities with a voice. Unusually for a city of its size, Derby has two: the Cathedral Quarter BID; and the St Peters Quarter BID.
The BIDS’ profile had suffered significantly during COVID. With cities already facing an existential risk from changing consumer habits, it was vital to increase awareness amongst the public, not to mention those local businesses who, as levy payers, fund the BIDs – especially as the Cathedral Quarter BID was up for renewal.
Our objectives were to secure a regular presence in the primary local paper, Derby Telegraph, as well other local and regional websites and TV and radio broadcast channels.
We positioned the BIDs as an indispensable part of Derby’s ecosystem – a nexus of business, community and local pride. We celebrated personalities within the BIDS (notably, the Rangers who walk the beat, rain or shine) but also the levy payers who are the city centre’s economic backbone.
Our core activity aligned with the BIDs’ existing calendar of events and activities. As well as obvious touchpoints such as summer and Christmas, this included time-specific activities such as the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
We also worked closely to identify more unusual opportunities, and prioritised anything that hadn’t been done in the BID before. Notably a Jurassic Day Out, in which Derby was invaded by dinosaurs; this allowed us to create real momentum and follow-up, with preview stories and a rapid photo follow-up.
Another big success was Sadler Gate Day, a celebration of a key independent shopping thoroughfare that harked back to similar days held at its peak in the early 1990s. For this, we tapped into community memories by placing a story in the Derby Telegraph asking readers to send in old photographs.
Beyond events, we have shifted the focus to celebrating the everyday work of the BIDs. This approach secured a free, three-page profile of the Rangers in Derbyshire Life, a premium title targeted at affluent readers in the region.
And when the Derby Telegraph came to us in the planning stages of a new weekly feature called ‘Love Your Local,’ celebrating the city’s independent businesses, we embraced the opportunity and have helped turned it into a regular slot, which continues to run to this day. We provide copy for this feature at least twice per month, based on our interviews with levy payers, securing valuable online and (often full-page) print coverage, generating regular, high-value content that gives a voice to levy payers.
BID spokespeople became a mainstay on BBC Radio Derby, previewing some of the events happening in the BIDs. This then turned into an opportunity for an extended live segment, where a breakfast show reporter visited three businesses to discuss why they had created window displays for the BIDs’ Winter Wonderland campaign.
BBC East Midlands Today also contacted us for input into a feature on the changing face of the British high street. Several levy payers, as well as the BIDs, were interviewed, all broadcast on the flagship 6:30pm show.
Across TV, radio, print and online, we achieved 75 items of coverage between 1st May 2022 and 30th April 2023. 11 of these have been exclusive articles for the Derby Telegraph’s ‘Love Your Local’ feature.
But it’s the anecdotal evidence we’ve received from these levy payers that we are most proud of, as we’ve given businesses a voice, within an extremely tight budget:
“We have been busy in our shop ever since and I think the article helped to contribute to this. I have had several of our customers comment on the piece.”
“Thank you again for the lovely feature, I am very pleased with it. We are having great feedback from it.”
Nielsen McAllister is itself located within the St Peters Quarter, so is expertly placed to understand the opportunities that Business Improvement Districts create. They’ve given us a strong and positive voice in the local press, plus a direct line to key print, online and broadcast journalists so that whatever is happening in the city, they want to hear from us.
Brad Worley, Cathedral Quarter BID & St Peters Quarter BID
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