RED Driving School needed to steer thousands of franchisees and learner drivers through uncertain times, and emerge from lockdown as the driving brand of choice
When the UK went into lockdown, RED Driving School was one of many franchise organisations in the UK with an internal and external communication challenge on its hands. While RED’s competitors shrunk from the limelight, we adapted our press office to proactively establish RED and its CEO as a reassuring presence in the media and gain a competitive edge when the UK re-opened.
Our strategy focused on keeping inactive learners engaged with practical advice, turning franchisees into ambassadors, supporting key workers and being a clear and bold public voice for the driving industry as a whole.
We mobilised CEO Ian McIntosh, developing bold calls to action for national media; he called on the government to extend financial support to self-employed workers, and later as lockdown eased we urged the DVSA to provide clear timelines and advice on safety measures. We took the message to broadcast outlets, securing appearances on BBC Radio 5 Live Drive, BBC World News and Sky News’ Ian King Live as well as generating national, regional and trade coverage in This Is Money, Daily Express and The Scotsman.
Coverage was so impactful that Ian received a personal thank you from Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s team.
Nimble newsjacking was essential to keep RED Driving School visible in the national press and our daily responses to government announces and key dates delivered huge results. When driving lessons and tests resumed, PHA was poised to react and secured 22 pieces of coverage within 24 hours alone, including Mail Online, The Telegraph, Sky News Online, PA Media and Fleet News.
To ensure RED emerged as a brand of choice for learners, PHA developed timely content strands to cut-through the coronavirus context. Practical media articles advised learners on topics such as learning to drive with your parents during lockdown; the dangers of the MOT extension; safely returning to the roads after months away from the driver’s seat; and how to stay test-ready without driving.
Finally, case studies were developed and placed in lifestyle and national press to bring to life RED’s expertise in the sector. From instructors supporting key workers to the first test pass after lockdown – we ensured the heartwarming stories from the sector were heard.
pieces of coverage
majority media share of voice versus competitors
national broadcast appearances in a week