Bulletin’s core values are clarity, spark and truth. Glastonbury in the City is a great example of what we mean by spark.
Good relationships with journalists are a vital ingredient of successful PR. Many PR companies will hold drinks events, bringing clients and journalists together over wine and canapés. We wanted to do something a bit different, so we held a party and then got the journalists and clients to provide the entertainment.
We created two bands, one for expert musicians and the other for complete beginners. Each comprised clients and journalists, who committed to three weeks of rehearsals to practise a set to be performed at the event in early October 2019.
The Funk Conduct Authority was a group of musicians from clients (Artemis Fund Managers and James Hambro & Partners) and the financial press (Claer Barratt and James Pickford of the FT, Young Money blogger Iona Bain, Lauren Mason of Investment Week, Simoney Girard of Financial Adviser and Sebastian Cheek of Portfolio Adviser). Uke Crazy comprised 15 ‘musicians’ from a broader range of clients and publications who, starting from scratch, learned the ukulele. We gave them instruments and lessons. They gave their world-premiere performance to a packed audience.
By pulling them together for rehearsals in the three weeks before the event, Bulletin enabled the participating musicians to meet in a non-business environment and work on a shared goal – to be good enough to appear in front of their friends and colleagues without embarrassing themselves. After rehearsals we bonded over food and beers, building genuine friendships.
Our in-house graphic designer created special branding for the event, including “I played at Glastonbury in the City” t-shirts for performers. We created a buzz by sharing rehearsal videos on social media, making it much easier to persuade journalists who often shun PR evening events to come along. Because they knew after their first lesson or rehearsal that they would actually be pretty good, band members also ‘sold’ the event to their colleagues – we even had requests to bring along family members.
The event itself had the adrenalin of a live show, with carefully curated side rooms allowing more serious conversations to take place. Around 80 journalists met industry experts; industry experts compared notes. Potential clients were wooed, and numerous follow-up calls were organised.
All our clients have seen increased coverage as a result of the event. More journalists recognise the names of Bulletin staff and our clients when pitches are sent. Several of our uke students are still playing their instruments, and the Funk Conduct Authority is seeking a new gig to play at.
Glastonbury in the City was unique. It created a community of people with a common interest outside of the workplace, pulled them together and culminated in a happening that was deeply satisfying for the participants and memorable for the audience. It was an enormous undertaking for a boutique PR agency, and it proved that with passion and imagination it is possible to punch well above your weight. The clients that sponsored the event have the cachet of being associated with an evening that will live on in the memories of everyone who was there for years to come.
The event won us an Investment Week marketing award and was short-listed for a PRCA Dare award.
“Working with Bulletin has been fantastic. They are creative and imaginative – their ideas for events to engage with journalists seem bonkers but work. They engage intelligently around content, adding value at every stage. And their hit rate in the press is incomparable.”
– Simon Edelsten, co-manager of the Mid Wynd International Investment Trust (electric cello, Funk Conduct Authority)