Tesco Assets and Estates

CLIENT: TESCO ASSETS AND ESTATES JWA’S ROLE: TO PREPARE AND CARRY OUT A PR AND MARKETING CAMPAIGN TO LAUNCH THE BIGGEST SHOPPING MALL IN CENTRAL EUROPE – OBCHODNI CENTRUM LETNANY What everyone saw was the opening itself; three action-packed days of events, pop bands, fashion shows, VIP guests and so on, plus an advertising and promotional campaign that started about six months before and ran on until the opening weekend. What they didn’t see was the huge and complicated amount of PR that went on for nearly three years beforehand. The local Mayor and his councillors were not sure that they wanted to agree to the building of the biggest shopping mall in Europe (at that time) in the middle of what was, in effect, a small village. The locals didn’t like it one bit, and there was an election coming up so the Mayor was worried about how the situation would affect his votes. JWA facilitated ongoing support by the developer for the local community – sponsorship of sporting events, the local schools’ art competition, regular information by way of monthly newsletters and information boards on the site, competitions for people living locally, opportunities to meet celebrities on the site (ice hockey players signing autographs, singers performing at the weekend, etc) with the aim of persuading the locals that this was a ‘good thing’ and, thereby, encouraging their support of the Mayor – plus, of course, monthly meetings with the Mayor and councillors to up-date them on progress The Letting Agents needed support to persuade the big brands that they should be in this mall above all others – bearing in mind that it is 8 km outside the centre of town, the first of its size and scale and one of many other new malls opening during the same period JWA provided ongoing positive articles about the mall in the real estate media (which the potential tenants were most likely to read), regular events on site with invitations to potential tenants (a) to visit and see the scale of the development, (b) to meet other tenants either signed or otherwise, and (c) to make potential tenants feel that they were something ‘special’ The Czech Republic was not sure that it was ready for so many shopping malls and hypermarkets at this time and the media was, in general, writing fairly negative reports on the effects of such schemes, which had the potential to undo the good work that was being done with regard to the Letnany residents and likely tenants A proactive and consistent national media campaign was initiated, positioning the developer as the expert on hypermarket development and stressing all the benefits that hypermarkets bring to the area which, of course, required a significant amount of research and preparation (often using the UK as an example) – the number of jobs brought to the area, the improvements to transport links, the number of additional leisure activities that the hypermarkets bring (usually cinemas, sporting possibilities (in the case of Letnany an ice rink and swimming pool),) the increase in the value of property in the area, the additional parking and so on. The end result was that the launch campaign for Obchodni Centrum Letnany was voted the best marketing campaign for a shopping mall in the whole of the Czech Republic for that particular year.