Engaging your PR team early reaps the best rewards

Our local Waitrose is undergoing a major refurbishment. Given that it is squeezed in between homes and businesses in an historic town with virtually no room for manoeuvre, this was never going to be an easy task. Customers are facing a scaled-down temporary store, ongoing works, carpark closures and general construction chaos. You would expect local residents and customer to be outraged. They are not.

Why? Because Waitrose has played the PR card absolutely perfectly. They have communicated every move before and during works. They have spoken to their customers and neighbours and kept everyone abreast of the changes and the timescales. They have recognised the likely issues and worked ahead of time to do something about it – like laying on complimentary busses from out-of-town car parks.

Everyone knows what is going on and, remarkably, everyone is happy. Mostly due to the fact that no one is left second guessing or being caught out by unexpected events. Moreover, everyone is also talking about the new Waitrose and how fabulous it will be. Very good PR all round.

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