Every month I organise a breakfast seminar for the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) in Wales, where a guest speaker from the communications industry comes and gives a topical talk to a room of fellow PR professionals. If you haven’t been to one before it’s worth getting up early just for the humungous cooked breakfast courtesy of Bacchus!
This month, I invited Richard Thomas, Head of Marketing, Communications & Audiences at BBC Wales to be a guest speaker so we could hear about the media landscape in Wales, what part BBC Cymru Wales plays in that, what the Marketing, Communications & Audience department’s remit is and how PR professionals in Wales can work with the BBC for mutual benefit.
It was interesting to hear that consumer research showed that 58% of people in Wales name BBC Wales as the national broadcaster in Wales and 67% regard BBC Wales as the leading broadcaster of news in Wales.
There is also a real drive from BBC Wales to develop Wales’ reputation as a world class centre of drama and factual production, particularly in light of the new studios at Roath Lock.
BBC Wales see opportunities to push the brand further in conjunction with Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary and their own 50th anniversary.
Richard presented two case studies to the group that showed how his team market BBC Wales productions. It was fascinating to see highlights of BBC Wales’ campaign to push ‘The Story of Wales’ which eventually brought in 300,000 viewers. It achieved the highest audience for a BBC Wales TV series since Coal House and remarkably achieved the second highest appreciation index across all BBC 1 series in 2011/12 (just behind Frozen Plant!).
In terms of Richard’s advice for PR professionals in Wales, it was to align activity with BBC Wales’ future programmes and campaigns, help BBC Wales promote Wales as a thriving centre of excellence for the creative industries and make sure we are familiar with all of BBC Wales’ outputs.
All in all an insightful and interesting talk. Thanks Richard and thanks BBC Wales.