07 Oct VISIT ESSEX AND BIG WAVE PR WIN GOLD AND SILVER AT CIPR PRIDE AWARDS
Visit Essex, the county’s tourism body and Ardleigh-based Big Wave PR, a leading lifestyle and B2B PR agency, won gold and silver at the CIPR Pride Awards (Anglia, Thames and Chilterns) for #ThisisEssex, a campaign which challenges the Essex stereotype. The awards were announced at an online ceremony on 5 October.
#ThisisEssex was launched in the autumn of 2019 and encouraged the people of Essex to step forward and challenge perceptions of the county. A Paralympian, women’s rally driver, novelists and a comedian, amongst many others, stepped forward including best-selling novelist, Martina Cole and Michelin star chefs, the Galvin Brothers. Photo and film shoots were set-up, a new calendar and a pop-up gallery of Essex was launched, plus a hardworking media relations campaign created coverage on This Morning and across all national newspapers. Fast forward to October 2020 and a new film dispelling so many Essex stereotypes gained its world premiere on BBC Breakfast and has so far gained nearly 500,000 online views. In all the campaign provided over one billion opportunities to see and helped reposition Essex as a place to visit, live, study and invest.
The campaign has already won a PRCA Dare award and has now also walked off with the top Consumer Relations title as well as runner-up slot in the Travel and Tourism category. Lisa Bone, Strategic Tourism Manager, Visit Essex, is delighted with the win. She says: “This is excellent recognition for our team. The perception of Essex, for many years, has been on people rather than place. We needed to confront stereotypes in a bold and tongue-in-cheek fashion before providing a new narrative. These industry accolades are a real boost to the team and help to highlight the work we’ve been doing.”
The campaign was launched and developed by award-winning Essex-based PR and marketing agency, Big Wave PR. Hilary Collins, Founder and Managing Director, Big Wave PR, says the campaign was standout: “We have loved working on this campaign and are so proud of achieving so much media coverage and impressive results. We’re an Essex-based PR agency and we’re all passionate about dispelling the myths and showcasing real Essex.”
She added: “Big Wave PR has now won the Consumer Relations Campaign title seven years in a row, which is an enormous achievement.”