Saturday, 11 June 2011

Doing the PR bit

A couple of weeks ago the local network centre held an interesting event which invited local businesses to impress local dignitaries, such as my favourite MP Jamie Reed, and convince them that Millom is a great town.

There is a great community spirit in our town, and with some reluctance I pitched up at the event to show some support for the altruistic outlook of the organisers. I doubted if the event would provide return on investment for the time, and free beer that was provided although I do like the people involved. As it happened I had a couple of hours free and pitched up.

It was fun, I even convinced one notary attendee that despite her assurance that she didn't like beer, barley wine in the form of Granite, was indeed worthy of her 800 year lineage.

However, this local Cumbrian excellence is all very well, but is barely relevant to my business. When the local paper phoned me to ask my views on the event I didn't want to miss the opportunity for some local exposure. I thought quickly and, perhaps rather rashly, decided to challenge the barriers to my operation in the town as more than 50% of our sales are out of the county. More than 95% of our deliveries are over 20 miles away from our base.

I pointed out transport is a big issue to us and that local government has no intention of improving road structures which could encourage economic growth and employment. I also pointed out that there was effectively saturation of a locally stale traditional market that is suffering due to the number of breweries, and an inability to accept more progressive flavours in beer.

The result of the interview made the front page of the local paper.

I didn't expect this to hit the front page of our edition, but it did. The attention grabbing headline doesn't quite match my sentiments, but getting our name on the front page is well worth it. The quotes really are what I said, but it is interesting the way it has been embellished by the reporter.

Incidentally, a local CAMRA active member, Steven Walker is also quoted. It could be assumed from this that I'm at odds with local CAMRA. Steven is a grand guy and it would certainly be untrue to suggest that I find the majority of the Cumbrian branch members at odds with us.


Jeff Pickthall said...

Camra members always willing to try something new eh?
Maybe, but only if it's under 4.3%.

Adrian Tierney-Jones said...

Dave, you need a media course, when and what to say, after all you are a business…

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

That beer you're holding in your hand ... I could probably only drink two due to the alcohol content. It's likely over-hopped as well.

Unknown said...

Well, Jeff, as you know, we have our own plans.

ATJ, do you think I'd take any notice of anyone who told me when I should or shouldn't say stuff?

Ted, AKA BUL180, two? I do not believe I have aver known you to stop at two, irrespective of strength or hop rate.

However, I suspect it was Continuum which at a respectable 4% is very carefully hopped to provide the perfect balance of excitement and delight.

Jeff Pickthall said...

Surely the headline should read "Brewer slurps".

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

Six pints then, please.

Darren said...

well local government is supposed to be roads and rubbish so fair call. Roads it is!

Anonymous said...

Think I'll move to Millom to help de-stagnate the market, I'll join BUL180 in six pints ;)



Neville Grundy said...

If the local press can manufacture a controversy, they will. I've had many dealings with our local press because of my involvement in several organisations, and most examples of misrepresentation have been, to be frank, caused by incompetence, but occasionally it's been deliberate, as (I suspect) in your case.

If it makes a few more people aware you're there, then that's all to the good!

Unknown said...

Nev, controversy is what gets free publicity. I don't know if it will do us any good, but as it stands in this town it can't do much harm.

The day after this went to press one of our best customers told us he's thinking of giving us near exclusivity on his handpulls. That's worth a lot of trade. Whether that was because, or despite this piece I don't know.