Case Study – 48 hours to a front page
When Taskmasters, based in Old Romney, Kent, won a contract for repairs to Elizabeth Tower, (which houses Big Ben), they wanted to maximise PR coverage for this prestigious project.
Of course Taskmasters aren’t your typical company, they specialise in working at heights, incredible heights. And they only use ropes.
So with the Big Ben project requiring working 315ft (96m) above ground level, they weren’t fazed at all. You see they are experts in abseiling and rope safety.
With high levels of security at one of London’s most iconic landmarks and the added challenge that they had never conducted national PR before, Taskmasters had their work cut out. On the ground that is.
Whilst a successful Marketing student, Director Terri Cliffe-Harrison needed some assistance to pull off the PR coup and called on Sara, at Goldcrest Academy for assistance.
With 48 hours to go, they planned the PR strategy, organised the photo shoot, signed off the press release, discussed interview opportunities and worked out the media distribution. That took about 2 hours; they both worked quite hard and Sara was about to go on holiday too. The time plan required careful logistics, allowing the abseilers time to climb 334 limestone steps wearing all their kit, conducting repair work and of course, allowing the press time to attend. Terri was all ready for interviews, safely on the ground.
And what were the results?
Outstanding. Press coverage was achieved on the front page of the Financial Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Evening Standard and then on BBC News, Kentish Express, Sky News, ITN News, ITV News and still rolling through. Great coverage for a niche business and wonderful case studies for Taskmasters’ new business development.
Of course you might ask, couldn’t this have been planned earlier? And the simple answer is no. With the weather a critical consideration, the date could have changed daily. As it was, the 12th August 2010 bloomed a gorgeous blue sky and sunshine. Perfect for some awesome photography.
Terri proved a natural at interviews and even sold some high level rope access training to journalists on the day. And you know it’s coming – the best result of all? In Terri’s own words – “I couldn’t have done this if I hadn’t studied the marketing course.” With Goldcrest Academy of course.
So if you happen to need abseiling expertise or rescue, call Taskmasters and if you are thinking of a marketing course or training, call Goldcrest Academy. We’d both like to help, but maybe something a little less adventurous…..
Why use rope access?
This is one of the safest forms of access, with stringent regulation and high standards of training, including log book records (similar to pilots). Given the fragility of the clock, the abseilers can work closely but without out putting any weight bearing on the clock fascia.
The rope access was essential, not only to protect the fragile clock, but also because the clock could not be stopped. Thankfully ear defenders protected the abseilers’ hearing.
The Taskmaster speciality experience includes the rope access technicians having to regularly practice independent rescues. In the event of someone becoming incapacitated they have to carry out self-rescue “without relying on the emergency services”. The team have to pro-actively plan for possible rescue on/in any situation that they may need to access.
Big Ben and Tower renamed the Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom