Birmingham City Council: Design Space

Birmingham City Council – Design Space



Encore Communications was appointed by Birmingham City Council to design and implement a three-month PR programme to support the work of Design Space – a BCC/ERDF funded project providing 12 months support to up-and-coming designer maker jewellers in the city.



Encore devised a traditional and social media relations campaign, focusing initially on consumer media to raise awareness of the project and attract customers to a pop-up shop opening for six weeks in the run up to Christmas, and then moving on to trade audiences to drive footfall to Design Space’s stand at the NEC’s Spring Fair. Twitter and Facebook accounts were set up for the project, providing an outlet for direct interaction with a range of stakeholders, including customers, designers, Spring Fair attendees, potential stockists and industry influencers.



35 individula pieces of media coverage were secured over the course of the campaign, all of which were positive about the programme and its activities and 13 of which included information about Birmingham City Council and the European Regional Development Fund. Highlights included a double-page spread about the pop-up shop in the Birmingham Mail, promotional articles in a variety of lifestyle magazines and a front-page feature on The Jeweller magazine’s website on the first-day of Spring Fair.


Regular interaction with key influencers on twitter saw follower numbers grow organically to nearly 200 by the end of the campaign, over 50% of which were involved with the jewellery / design industries. The account was mentioned on 59 occasions, including 42 retweets. The facebook page was used primarily to showcase the work of the designer makers involved with the project, with the designers developing a following primarily in Birmingham but also as far afield as London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Pengag, Islamabad and Taipei.


Commercially, the campaign contributed towards over 725 members of public visiting the pop-up shop in the six weeks it was open, spending £5464.50 on new designers’ collections. A local cufflink retailer contacted the project to investigate the potential to work with some of the designers and several independent retailers also got in touch via social media.

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