It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – and for many people, that means thinking about starting their Christmas shopping.
But for PLMR Advent, the run-up to Christmas across the last four years has involved working with Warwickshire County Council to help promote its independent businesses and encourage people to buy local.
The relationship first began as the country was in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
With many businesses fearing loss of earnings over Christmas, Warwickshire County Council came to us to assist on a campaign to help people choose the county’s local independents when buying their festive gifts.
Christened ‘Warksmas’ – the campaign aimed to show off the wide range of Warwickshire businesses and not promote them directly, but to encourage fellow businesses and customers to share their favourite businesses by using the hashtag #Warksmas.
We created and issued a launch press release to local and regional business titles, created written and video case studies around individual independent businesses, and created an ‘A to Z’ of Christmas to share across the council’s Warwickshire Towns Network social media accounts.
Reach across both Facebook and Twitter during the campaign more than doubled, and feedback from businesses was so positive that the council came to us again in 2021 to run a similar campaign.
Further success led to us being commissioned each year since, including this year.
While the campaigns have evolved each time, with a different mix of video, photo and written content across different channels, as well as the name changing from Warksmas to Warwickshire Christmas, the overall substance has been the same – encouraging as many businesses as possible to get involved with the campaign and share content across social media.
Over the past couple of years, the campaigning has involved the man himself, Father Christmas, whose presence has helped us to reach more people than ever before.
The campaigns have also complemented Warwickshire County Council’s work on its business newsletter Warwickshire Means Business, allowed it to grow its own ‘towns network’ to get businesses talking and helping one another, and have enabled it to better leverage relationships with initiatives like Small Business Saturday to further benefit the independent businesses in the county.
It’s great that Warwickshire County Council, who we’ve worked with on a variety of projects over the years, can see the benefits of working with PLMR Advent and have come back to us as Christmas comes around to assist them once again.
It’s a testament to the service we provide to our clients and the insightful advice we can offer around how best to maximise messaging through PR, social media, case studies, and more.
And if you’re curious as to what businesses you should buy from in Warwickshire this year – take a look at Warwickshire Towns Network on Facebook or Instagram, or simply search for #WarwickshireChristmas!