When Mei’s Restaurant telephoned me out of the blue and asked if we would help them launch their new restaurant in Taunton we were excited.
They had been let down by another agency and needed help VERY quickly and found me via Google. They needed a lot and fast!
They already had their logo designed and they were half way through the building work required to turn and nightclub into a stylish oriental buffet restaurant. At this time they were expecting to open their doors in just 4 weeks; they had no website, twitter feed or facebook on which to hang a campaign. Nothing much was visible from the outside to say they were doing anything so no-one even knew they were there.
A quick blast of publicity was needed!
I hurried away from our first meeting and collated quotes for them for a website. We created a facebook page and twitter feed and started pushing out teaser posts – where were we opening? Bets on when; anything that would start an interaction with Taunton people. We wrote press releases and quickly got word out. Within two weeks we had over a 1000 followers on facebook and the interaction was huge – we needed photos!
We hired a photographer (Missing a Trick Photography) to get any shots he could of the unfinished refurb and the chefs created some great food so we could use the pics to populate our now busy facebook and twitter feeds. Within two weeks people were asking when they could book tables, when would the website be live? What were the prices going to be like?
We held back.. the longer they waited and the more we fed out slowly, the more intrigued they were getting.
There were setbacks in the building and the launch date remained fluid until just two weeks before the trial nights were due to happen. We were a little nervous at that time – would we have the time to get a proper launch event given the time of year? How many events would we clash with? Had the people we wanted to attend already committed themselves to something else; it was going to be a challenge!
Don’t get me wrong, White Knight is always up for a challenge but we are a small but perfectly formed team who really do have a lot of other clients that we don’t want to let down. We played the Associate Card!
For those of you who don’t know what the Associate Card is, it is where you pull in people from other businesses to help you as a trusted associate for elements of the job that you would otherwise be able to do if you had a 48 hour day! These people have to be 100% trustworthy and share your way of doing things for it to work smoothly. We called in Taurus Marketing, based in Melksham. Paul Mills the director there was an old work colleague of mine in a previous life, so I knew his approach would work. He accepted the challenge and I quickly delegated a number of tasks to him. We then called on Somerset Web Services to build a small starter website that could be built on when the Restaurant needed it later. They turned this around, with us supplying the copy and photo’s in two weeks. Mike Godleman from Missing A Trick Photography was pulled in for the event snaps and Darren Cullum from Tone FM and Silent Discos stepped up with the PA and mike we needed for the night; the troupe was complete.
So, did we pull it off?
We quickly collated a database of people we wanted to attend, created a templated email and got the invite out with 9 days to go. Some people were still away following Easter breaks and I wanted a 100 people at least to attend – all from businesses in Taunton. Three emails later and several conversations I had a list of 92 and the owners list of another 30 – we had got the numbers we needed. Later we were to find out that that there was an event at the Race Course, Cosy Club and the Citizenship Awards being held at the college so we were actually very pleased with that result AND given that people had booked so late – they, for the most, part showed up!
We wrote the speeches and organised the format for the evening. Branded memory sticks were to be given out to everyone coming as a reminder of their evening alongside a 20% discount vouchers to encourage them back quickly – and yes – these too had to be designed and printed, which we did in just two days.
Alongside the Launch event, the Restaurant needed to fill 4 days of Trial openings so they could be sure that they were ready for the public. We went to work through social media again offering a ‘children go free incentive’.
As people had waited so long, they were desperate to be amongst the first to come and bookings came in quickly. We put huge posters in the windows to promote the Trial days and used the same design as an online flyer to share; we couldn’t believe the coverage we were getting. We spoke to the press who put it online immediately and later printed it in the paper for us.
The trial days went well and reviews began appearing on the facebook page which added further to the discussions.
On the night of the official opening event, we posted up on Tone FMs facebook page that it was happening and that the Tone team were enjoying the evening. By the end of the next day the post had been seen by over 40,000 people, it had been shared 280 times and liked by nearly 800 people!
So, did we pull it off? We would say so!
Many thanks for the successful opening night. In future we know that you are the one that can help!