Increasing Virtuo’s UK brand awareness among consumers in the crowded car rental market

Virtuo had launched its UK offering in the summer of 2018, and after an initial burst of press coverage around the launch, felt its awareness and media cadence had dropped off by early 2019. It previously worked with two other PR agencies, but the company didn’t feel it had seen the frequency, breadth, or standard of media coverage it wanted to boost its awareness and userbase. It was also about to launch its mobile-only car rental services in Manchester and Edinburgh, and needed an agency to announce these expansions.

Virtuo’s previous coverage was mainly led by its launch and trial reviews, so we wanted to diversify this and drive regular coverage with broader media relations tactics including business profiling, thought leadership, data stories, and features, alongside news and trials.

Virtuo also wanted to prioritise quality coverage, so we ensured we agreed a high-tier media list with them and KPIs based on coverage type too. We created regular content plans to accommodate upcoming news announcements and ensure our media focuses aligned with Virtuo’s goals for the year. We also monitored the news daily to ensure we could quickly react to relevant breaking news.

The PHA Group achieved 50 pieces of press coverage during the year, with 18 of those pieces appearing in national newspapers and broadcasters. Notably, we secured Virtuo’s founder, Karim Kaddoura, a three-minute interview on Ian King Live on Sky News, which created a 60% uplift in traffic to Virtuo’s website in the 24-hours following it.

The coverage achieved during the campaign included business profile pieces, trials and reviews, features, thought leadership, data stories, app lists, and company news, ensuring we could cover both the company itself and its story, while also communicating on the topics it wanted to be known for, such as changing mobility habits, the future of car ownership and more.

The PHA Group also built a strong relationship with the Virtuo team itself, ensuring we could brainstorm and problem solve together through challenges.

50

pieces of press coverage in six months

18

pieces of national press coverage

60%

uplift in website traffic in 24-hours following an appearance on Ian King Live, Sky News

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