Capturing the Hearts and Minds of the Green-Agenda Conscious Homebuyer
23rd August 2017
Brief and objectives
Trent Basin is a ground-breaking new residential community on the banks of the River Trent in Nottingham. It’s a game-changer for housing, remaking the mould of the ‘traditional’ housing development as the home to Europe’s largest community energy battery – which will reduce energy bills considerably for residents – and by combining the benefits of city living with stunning views of the river, an historic inland dock and a beautiful nature reserve. Ultimately, Trent Basin will be a community of more than 500 energy efficient homes, delivered in five phases and ranging from £220,000 to £400,000.
Eden PR was appointed by Blueprint, the developer behind Trent Basin, to deliver a full public relations campaign for the project.
Our main objectives were to:
- Launch the site
- Raise awareness of the vision of Trent Basin, so named as the homes are being built around a former inland dock, ahead of the Phase One properties being released for reservation in April and for sale in August 2016
- Then to create a sustained level of PR and communications to boost interest and sales of homes
- Persuade all target audiences, including media, to understand the ethos behind the design of the development – that it is a new neighbourhood for Nottingham, presenting a new idea of community, offering innovative low energy options and environment-conscious lifestyle choices
- Communicate and liaise with Nottingham City Council’s comms team. The council is a key stakeholder in the project and also stakeholder of Blueprint, a unique public private sector partnership
We recommended that a mix of media relations, social media and marketing communications should form the basis of the campaign, supplemented with additional event planning (two open events on site for the show home and show apartment).
Rationale behind campaign including research and planning
The campaign had to sell the vision of the award-winning developers and the benefits of low energy, sustainable living at Trent Basin. It had to be aimed at both the journalists who we wanted to write about Trent Basin and also potential house buyers.
This campaign differed from that of other housing developments because of Trent Basin’s ultra-green credentials. We needed to make journalists understand the ethos of the place, so that their copy reflected it and attracted buyers who were passionate about the same topics (reducing their carbon footprint, energy efficient homes, community living etc) as Blueprint.
Eden carried out research of the current housing market in Nottingham and the wider Midlands area, read up on the green debate re. housing in detail, got to grips with brownfield development sites and the language used to describe them and even did market research with potential buyers to see what appealed to them and what didn’t.
We crafted very specific media lists and did surveys in towns near to Trent Basin, such as West Bridgford – a nearby affluent area – to gauge reaction to the new community which was coming soon on the other side of the river. All of this helped us to hone our media and public relations strategies pre-launch of Phase One in August 2016.
Measurement and evaluation
Since Phase One was launched in August 2016 to date, 85% of homes in Phase One have been sold (out of 42 homes in total, 36 are now occupied or reserved for sale) – in just an 8-month period.
From June 2016 to June 2017:
- 128 pieces of coverage – average of 10.6 pieces of coverage per month
- Audience reach of over 9.3 million
- In Q1 of 2017 having established Trent Basin locally we have started to focus on national PR, already achieving coverage in The Sunday Times, the Metro, the Guardian and Modus (RICS’ magazine)
- From the 3 open events held to date (which Eden coordinated and managed) more than 25% of the plots were reserved – there were 12 reservations as a direct result of open days at Trent Basin
- Over 500 people attended the open days for Phase One
- Eden set up Twitter and Facebook accounts for Trent Basin in February 2016. To date there are nearly 800 followers and 300,000 impressions on Twitter and more than 560 page likes and 30,000 impressions on Facebook