Luxury tour operator Scott Dunn wanted to secure greater exposure in media read by affluent target customers, specifically the business and financial pages of national newspapers, and in national broadcast media.
However, few of the typical editorial requirements for national business media coverage were satisfied by the company. Scott Dunn’s turnover of £25m was impressive but still very small compared to most companies covered by national journalists. And the company had no declared plans for corporate activity that might increase the media’s interest, such as a flotation, M&A or trade sale.
8020 was appointed to undertake this challenging PR brief.
To create fresh business media interest in the company, we developed a three-pronged strategy.
We promoted Scott Dunn as a case study of the ‘two-speed recovery’ apparent in the UK’s depressed economy at the time – while mainstream travel businesses were in serious trouble, the luxury services provided by Scott Dunn remained strongly in demand.
We promoted Scott Dunn’s founder Andrew Dunn as a ‘poster boy’ for the aspiring British entrepreneurs the government wished to encourage.
We aimed to broaden the topics on which Andrew could speak to include issues of wide interest to business journalists, including apprenticeships and the impact of the then-unfolding Eurozone crisis on tourism.
Our strategy, coupled with skilled and persistent media relations, created a series of valuable coups for Scott Dunn, including a boxed profile story about the company’s recession-immunity in the influential Sunday Times business section (the top item on Andrew Dunn’s wish list); a full-page profile of Andrew in the London Evening Standard’s City pages; and Andrew’s appearance on BBC Radio 4’s flagship news programme Today as the subject of a business leader profile interview.
The media exposure helped Scott Dunn increase revenues significantly over the following 12 months and simultaneously raised awareness of the company in the investment community. Within 24 months, Scott Dunn sold a majority share of its equity to a private equity house, reportedly valuing the business at £70m, ahead of expectations.