When an idea really takes off

November 25, 2015 |

Some ideas never make it off the page. Some are put into action and go as planned. Some take flight and go much higher and further than you ever imagined. For Tank PR, Purple Flag Week was definitely the latter.

In September 2011, we were asked by our client We Are Nottingham Leisure to help mark the fact that the city had retained Purple Flag status, which is an accreditation awarded by the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) recognising destinations that offer a great night out. And so, Purple Flag Week was created.

Spanning five days, it saw key buildings illuminated in purple and special offers at bars and restaurants. A ‘Purple Carpet’ screening of local film making talent also took place at The Broadway, and over 150 people took part in a Twilight Walk around the city centre.

The ATCM was so impressed with the atmosphere that the event created that they decided to make it a national celebration and invite other cities and towns with Purple Flag status to follow our lead. Locations across the country have now just finished holding their own Purple Flag Weeks.

In the build up, we acted as PR consultants on the national project, sharing best practice advice from 2011. As the place where it all started, Nottingham was also asked to hold the national launch for 2012.

To create an impact and capture the interest of both the media and the public, we decided to turn the skies over Nottingham purple and release 250 purple balloons to mark the start of a week of national celebration. The balloons all had prizes for venues across Nottingham and trips to other Purple Flag destinations attached to them.

Making the event even more high profile, we secured Olympic and Paralympic heroes Helen Richardson (bronze medal winning vice-captain of Team GB women’s hockey team) and Richard Whitehead (gold medallist in the 200m T42 final at the Paralympics) to help us with the launch.

After the balloons where released, Helen and Richard joined a guest list from across the country, along with the choir from Blue Bell Hill Primary School, for a VIP reception at the Council House.

It’s quite a proud moment to see an idea that started on the page being rolled out across the country. Of course, the biggest benefits are for our client. We Are Nottingham Leisure is once again seen to be influencing the national agenda.

It goes to show that the best ideas can go a really long way.