Work

  • pr

Ulster Bank

We provide a range of services to Ulster Bank across its business, including media relations, sponsorship management, content creation, and blog & social media management. Below is an example of one award-winning project carried out in 2015.

Ulster Bank

Ulster Bank

Brief and objectives

Farming is a key sector for Ulster Bank, and the bank wanted us to help them build trust, goodwill and strong relationships within the sector in order to help create an environment in which it could better do business in the industry for mutual benefit.

Objectives:

  • Build trust and generate goodwill within the farming community
  • Build/enhance/deepen relationships with key stakeholders in the farming community
  • Create awareness and understanding of Ulster Bank’s close association with the farming sector
  • Help create an environment in which Ulster Bank can develop relationships with farmers

Research and planning

  • Research into key issues for the sector
  • Research into key stakeholders in the farming community
  • Research into key channels for reaching farmers

Our research told us that farm safety is a huge issue and a real concern for farmers, particularly in relation to children.

We also found out that the Farm Safety Partnership run by Health & Safety Executive NI is a key influencer, with members including Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ulster Farmers’ Union, National Farmers’ Union Mutual and Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster.

We identified Balmoral Show, which Ulster Bank has a long association with, as the key event for the farming community and a perfect platform.

Farming Life was identified as the key publication for NI farmers, followed by Farm Week and Irish Farmers Journal.

We decided that engaging children in rural communities in an educational initiative would generate goodwill and would help engage their parents, who would likely help them with it.

Strategy and tactics

Strategy:

A competition in conjunction with Farm Safety Partnership, open to school children in rural areas across NI, to create a storyboard for an animated video that would be professionally produced for use as an educational resource in relation to farm safety and launched at Balmoral Show.

Tactics:

  • Approaching Health & Safety Executive NI to brief them about the idea and to secure a link-up with Farm Safety Partnership and its members
  • A media launch, including press release with quotes from the partners and a photo including their representatives
  • Social media content and sponsored tweets and Facebook posts to promote the competition
  • Providing content to all of the partners for use on their various channels
  • Having the winning storyboard professionally produced into an animated video
  • Launching the winner at Balmoral Show, NI’s largest agricultural event
  • Inviting the winning school boy to Balmoral Show with his classmates to see the animation displayed, with photos taken and issued
  • A social media campaign to highlight and create awareness of the winning entry and to encourage people to view it, including a small budget for sponsored Facebook posts
  • Press release, photos and interviews to announce the winner and create awareness of the animation
  • Providing partners with the animated video and encouraging them to use it to best effect across their channels and events

Implementation

  • The campaign was launched in February 2015, with a deadline for entries of 31st March.
  • Entry forms were digitally downloadable
  • The competition was open to all post-primary school children in NI.
  • Entries were judged in April by a panel including Ulster Bank and the Farm Safety Partnership
  • The winning entry was unveiled at Balmoral Show on May 13th.

Measurement and evaluation

Outputs

  • All partners shared content on their channels and participated in media relations
  • Over 400 entries from post-primary school children received
  • Extremely prominent and very positive media coverage at launch across all target media, including main front page photo and story in Farming Life, plus further coverage on page 3
  • A high profile launch at Balmoral Show, with the exhibition hosting the winning entry visited by, amongst others, NI’s First & Deputy First Ministers and the NI Secretary of State
  • Over 70,000 views to date of the winning video on social media channels
  • Widespread, prominent and positive media coverage of the announcement of the winning entry, including in key farming publications Farm Week, Farming Life and IFJ
  • Over 40 prominent pieces of media coverage
  • Dozens of positive comments on social media from members of the rural community

Outcomes

  • The Farm Safety Executive / Health & Safety Executive NI were so delighted with the initiative and the resulting animation that they have committed to using it, along with the Ulster Bank branded introduction and conclusion, in all of their school talks on farm safety across NI in the years ahead, reaching tens of thousands of rural young people and their families every year
  • The key stakeholders in the farming sector praised Ulster Bank’s initiative, and are keen to work further with the bank.
  • The animation on display at Balmoral Show became a talking point and attracted many farmers to come to see it, which enabled Ulster Bank staff to engage with farmers and develop relationships with them.
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