Priceless PR for Ha’penny Pier

When Harwich Haven Authority (HHA) told us about planned restoration works to the historic Ha’penny Pier, we instantly knew it would make a fantastic story for the region’s press.

We also identified it as a valuable opportunity for the not-for-profit organisation to tell more people that it owns the pier – a much-loved tourist attraction – and about its essential role in the community.

Key messages

A priority key message we wanted to convey through the PR was HHA’s responsibilities as a trust port and as the custodian of Harwich Haven, including its maintenance of local landmarks such as Ha’penny Pier.

Also, with much of HHA’s everyday work being invisible to the public eye, we felt the organisation should maximise on this opportunity to raise its profile.

The campaign

The first part of our campaign involved gathering technical information from HHA, including details on the engineering tasks that would maintain the pier’s rare timber structure. We then wrote and distributed a press release announcing the news to the press, this secured coverage in the Manningtree and Harwich Standard, the Colchester Gazette and the East Anglian Daily Times.

The next phase of PR was based around a press visit. We invited TV, radio and print media along to see the works up close, and to find out more about the specialist skills involved in keeping the pier in excellent condition.

Reporters interviewed spokespeople from HHA, the contractor and the Harwich Society, who provided insight into the pier’s history.

The results

HHA was very happy with our results – they key messages were communicated in each piece of coverage. The positive news story not only reflected HHA’s role in the community, but it also reminded people of Ha’penny Pier’s historic significance and as a popular meeting point.

The story was covered by BBC Look East, ITV Anglia, Dream100, BBC Radio Essex, the Manningtree & Harwich Standard, the East Anglian Daily Times, the Bury Mercury and Suffolk Coastal Scene.

Our client says…

“We have been working closely with Trebuchet on a number of initiatives, including promoting the refurbishment of our early Victorian wooden pier. The media interest we received to our call to action to view the restoration works on a press morning was amazing. Trebuchet managed to get both BBC and ITV along to our Ha’penny Pier, which was possible I believe because they have great relationships with the key media in the area.

“Sue and Elma from Trebuchet managed the media at our press day, which took the stress away from us and allowed us to concentrate on delivering our story to the media.”
Anthony Fletcher, Business Systems Manager