Delivering an integrated PR campaign to promote leadership on the challenges facing the driving school industry

RED Driving School is one of the UK’s leading driving schools. PHA has worked alongside RED as its fully integrated PR & Social Media Agency for several years.

RED came to PHA with a number of clear missions. They wanted to raise national awareness of the issues facing the driver training industry, challenge the government to support franchise businesses and encourage the DVSA to solve the backlog of tests.

In addition to this strategic communications approach, RED wanted to reach driving instructors and encourage them to join as franchisees. The business also sought to engage a wide demographic of learners that included Gen Z while also acknowledging their older customer base through a fun, accessible and expert tone.

The last few years have presented a series of challenges for the driver training industry. This included a record backlog of learners waiting to take their driving test, a figure that has remained above 500,000 since 2022.

We advised RED’s executive team that a proactive communications strategy was key to raise national awareness of these issues and officially call on the government to make a difference. We have generated over 140 pieces of coverage calling on the government to act. This approach helped to improve positive sentiment of the industry, with RED at the forefront. It also led to a personal letter from Rishi Sunak.

After establishing the leading share-of-voice within the industry, we have worked to consolidate RED’s position as the leading industry commentators and delivered over 250 pieces of national/broadcast coverage in the last three years.

As well as working with the organisation’s C-Suite team to address sector challenges, we have also brought the stories of RED’s driving instructors to life to engage an audience of potential franchisees. We have offered advice for learners and demonstrated their commercial successes as franchisees via the media.

Establishing an engaged social media presence was key to reaching RED’s younger demographic of potential learners. We have activated campaigns across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter/X and latterly, TikTok. We launched the brand on TikTok and helped to generate more than 40,000 followers in the first eight weeks of launch.

To support this Social Media growth we have also activated a consistent influencer programme which involved Jamie Laing of Made in Chelsea and Perrie Edwards of Little Mix. One of these influencer posts attracted more than 607,000 likes and almost 4,400 comments resulting in a 50% uplift in website visits.


Established leading share-of-voice in the industry benchmarked against competitors


Pieces of coverage in 3 years, including 34 broadcast hits and 227 national pieces


Supported the business through 2 acquisitions


Launched on TikTok, amassing 40,000+ followers in the first 8 weeks of launch


Regular website traffic


Learner queries

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