CALA Homes: A Waterfront Leith Can Be Proud Of, Thanks To Property PR Experts
Building a bright future with expert property PR as the foundation
THE UK’s most upmarket major homebuilder, CALA Homes, enlisted the help of Edinburgh PR agency, Holyrood PR, to develop and outline a PR strategy for their new, proposed site by Leith Docks, The Waterfront Plaza.
Our property PR expertise enabled us to help see this campaign through in it’s entirety – from inception to completion – and, ultimately, get the planning permission for the site that CALA Homes eagerly craved.
The land opposite Ocean Terminal, next to Edinburgh’s waterfront, has laid vacant for years. Amid financial crisis, opposition struggle and failed council backing, the area has seen it all. Luckily, CALA Homes decided to take on the massive project of breathing new life and building anew future for Leith, Waterfront.
The area was originally earmarked for commercial use, despite research suggesting there was no need. CALA Homes needed to then alter their plans and, alternatively, proposed housing, a seemingly perfect answer to Edinburgh’s critical housing shortfall.
All that lay in CALA Homes’ way was planning officials. Even though they praised the site, they were obliged to recommend it for refusal. We had to make sure that wasn’t the case.
The creativity involved with this campaign was being tactful, organised and thorough.
Once the altered PR approach for focusing primarily on residential planning was finalised, we set around crafting five key messages to address key potential issues. This evolved into a six-part plan, detailing how to control the narrative at every step.
We knew we had to build on our relationship with Edinburgh Evening News, the key local publication with a large social media following, often holding the local council to account.
WHAT WE DID
We got the ball rolling with a pro-active, key message heavy strong utilising strong visuals, highlighting the new plans, taking on board changes requested by the local community.
We reinforced our campaign with a story from the CEO of a local Housing Association calling for more affordable homes. This caused a snowball effect, completely in our favour.
Sparked by public demand, Lord Councillor Gordon Munro provided a comment article highlighting the urgent need for these homes.
We had managed to get the right people not only talking about this development, but demanding it.
THE BIG RESULTS
One of the biggest successes of this campaign was in the form of, simply, a tweet. We managed to attract the attention of Lord Provost Frank Ross (the Scottish equivalent of a City Mayor), who urged the project to happen and included a link to a story.
The biggest results though? CALA Homes getting their proposals unanimously approved, in full, with work scheduled to start summer 2018.
- Generated 43 articles reaching 1,701,777, including five in Edinburgh Evening News – smashing our target of 15 articles
- 100% positive coverage achieved – no mean feat for a property development as our initial target of 66% will reflect
- Getting third parties involved with the project by showcasing support of business and community leaders, local affordable housing experts, the local ward Councillor and, crucially, the city’s Chief Planning Convener
- Every item of coverage contained at least two of five key messages. Beyond that, 79% of total potential key messages were achieved across all coverage (170 of a possible 215)
Craig Lynes, Land Director with CALA Homes (East), said: “The media campaign was unlike anything else we had carried out in recent history.
“Holyrood PR built on CALA’s engagement with the community, Edinburgh City Council and key stakeholders to deliver strong and regular third-party quotes addressing areas and issues that this development helped provide an answer for.
“Among many highlights, the proactive media campaign even drew out support from the Lord Provost, who tweeted a photo of an article urging his support in a tweet – an incredible outcome.
“In addition all coverage was positive, putting CALA in a strong public position as we go onto the next stage of the development.”
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