You work a lot with international Food and Drink brands such as Heverlee, what does this involve?
We work with food and drink brands in much the same way as other brands, in that we establish the target audience, and tailor our approach to reach those consumers in new and imaginative ways - encouraging them to sit up and take notice of the product. The big difference with food and drink brands, particularly newer brands, is the importance of driving trial with events while simultaneously delivering messages on taste and provenance via media relations and digital.
Can you expand on what a typical project looks like working with a client such as Heverlee?
We tailor our campaigns to target specific audiences, so there is no ‘typical’ project at Wire, but there are a few founding principles involved in a developing a food and drink campaign. We always aim to put in place a creative, multi-channel strategy, educating consumers on the product via earned media, letting them try it and immerse themselves in the brand story with a great experience, which should ultimately amplify brand messages as people spread the word on social media. This is put in practise with campaigns for clients like Belgian beer brand Heverlee, which is relatively new to Scotland, so needed to let people taste the beer, while also delivering messages on its Belgian roots in an interesting way.
The beer hails from Leuven, a beer capital, where cycling is a key mode of transport – so we put a fleet of Heverlee branded bikes out into the centre of Glasgow and Edinburgh to distribute vouchers for the beer, as part of a campaign known as HeverleeSent. The delivery mechanism was fuelled by Twitter – on select dates people could either tweet to request a beer, or Heverlee would contact people out of the blue for a surprise pint. Running a series of events on select dates allowed us to generate rolling media coverage while simultaneously giving target consumers a great experience and generating buzz around the brand on social media.
And what exciting things are on the horizon for the Heverlee brand?
This summer we launched a Heverlee pop up bar in Glasgow’s Tontine Lane, transporting visitors to Belgian via a quirky, yet authentic feeling beer café. It was a huge success and became the must-visit bar of the summer introducing the brand to a perfect audience. We’re currently working on exciting ideas to follow this up. Watch this space…
Why is it important for Heverlee to be involved with events such as the Creative Edinburgh Awards?
We already know that Scotland and Belgium share a love of good beer - but the two countries also share a love of innovation and creativity, so it’s a real pleasure that Heverlee have the opportunity to raise a glass to creative talent in the Capital.
Finally, what advice would you give to people thinking of pursuing a career in communications?
Our top advice for pursuing a career in communications (after gaining some relevant experience through internships – make sure they are paid!) is flexibility – don’t restrict yourself to certain channels and don’t be afraid to try new things. PR is essentially about targeted storytelling via influential relationships, regardless of the platform, so keep up to date with the changing ways people are consuming media, especially online.