Birmingham Whisky Festival: raising spirits across the country


Image of glass of whisky as part of case study by Birmingham PR agency Clarity Comms
Birmingham Whisky Festival: The Highlights

30 items of coverage over 3 months, including Shortlist, Olive and the Guardian

High-quality editorial across drinks trade and whisky specialist media

A sell-out for the festival

…and a delighted client:

This year for the first time I scaled back advertising and chose to do virtually all promotion via PR. The event grew significantly and I was really impressed with the rate of ticket sales, especially as we had added capacity for an extra 200 visitors.

“Coverage also helped with getting brands and experts on board and underlined our credibility. It’s really helped to establish the festival as a must-attend event on the whisky calendar.”

– Amy Seton, Whisky Birmingham producer

The Challenge

Whisky Birmingham was a successful event looking to raise the PR game in its third year and target potential visitors both locally and across the country.

Organisers also wanted to attract national and global whisky brands to exhibit at the fair, meaning coverage in respected trade media would be crucial.

Whisky enthusiasts across the UK follow a number of specialist whisky blogs, so it was essential to get the event featured on these platforms as well.

Our approach

We created a PR plan divided into two clear phases:

Phase 1 – Pre-Christmas launch

The objectives at this early stage were to raise interest among brands and retailers, and also to drive sales of tickets as Christmas gifts.

Phase 2 – Main lead-up

Between January and the event in March, the goal was to drive ticket sales and increase national visibility for the festival. We needed whisky brands to buy in, and consumers to buy tickets.

What we did

News

We tackled the news publications with targeted and timely news releases, supplying our contacts in the drinks trade media, and consumer news outlets, with original news content and relevant detail.

Features

We targeted the consumer lifestyle titles, such as Olive, with original angles for in-depth pieces ranging from interviews with the event producer, to food and drink features on Birmingham and on the resurgence of whisky.

The results

30 items of coverage in total

Placement in high-profile consumer media including Olive, Shortlist and The Guardian

Strong trade presence – Harpers, The Drinks Business and four whisky specialist blogs all prominently featured the festival

Inclusion as a tourist event by Visit Birmingham official site, and repeat coverage from Birmingham Mail and Birmingham Post kept the event front-of-mind with local consumers.

The festival sold out.

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