Open all hours?
Companies hold open days all the time and here we look at some of the reasons why they are still so popular for manufacturers, food and construction businesses.
It builds relationships
Holding an open day is an opportunity for a business to invite its customers, stakeholders and local community to its facility, build relationships and enable them to find out more about the company, plus its latest news and developments. Often issues arise with stakeholders if they feel they are not being communicated with effectively. Inviting people into the business provides the chance for relationships to be forged and positive opportunities to arise from this, whether it be new business deals, collaborative projects or to address any questions from the local community.
It enables you to stimulate media interest
An open day presents an opportunity for the media to be invited to a facility. This could be trade, consumer or regional business media. Often photographers will be sent along by local newspapers, but trade magazine editors often attend, looking for an exclusive. We recommend inviting a number of non-competing titles and giving them their own unique angle on the story. It also worth inviting TV and radio reporters as there’s a possibility of securing broadcast media coverage if the story is strong enough!
It allows you to showcase your facility
Open days are a great chance to showcase a facility, which is a particularly good idea if it’s a new manufacturing or retail unit. Giving customers and the media the chance to preview a new facility and any innovations or new technologies makes them feel special and can showcase your business in a very positive light. It can also encourage customers to buy from you and to recommend your products and services.
It boosts employee morale
It is a good idea to involve as many employees as possible in the organisation and running of an open day. It can give employees great pride in their facility and it is worth creating an ‘open day committee’ which starts the planning early, organises the day and makes the main decisions about what will happen at the event. It is also worth inviting employees to volunteer to show customers around the facility and give them any extra training that could be required – for example, on the company history, specific markets or on how equipment operates so they can ensure they appear fully knowledgeable about the facility. Many of our clients have reported that open days have had a very positive impact on employee morale and motivation.
It positions you as an expert in the field
Research shows that people really do remember an open day for years to come and, in many cases, it has enabled our clients to position themselves as experts in their industry. Many journalists return to us months down the line asking if our clients can put together a thought leadership piece or comment on some latest legislation, as a result of discussions we’ve had with them at open days. Here at Dragonfly PR our expertise lies in writing thought leadership articles that position our b2b clients as experts in their field, which we get placed in both printed magazines and in online journals, for SEO benefit.
Over the last few months, we have been involved with organising open days for a number of clients and generating maximum PR exposure for them. This has involved, most recently one for a manufacturing company and the other for a food business. Here’s a quick insight into what they got out of it.
Group Rhodes – relocation and expansion
One of Yorkshire’s longest established manufacturers, Group Rhodes held an open day to mark its relocation to a new factory in Wakefield and the company’s expansion. The event was attended by 200 customers, suppliers and special guests and it culminated in the Chair of Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership unveiling a plaque to mark the new premises. The event started mid-morning with a number of presentations from divisional directors of the business discussing their major innovations and projects, then there was a full factory tour, with delegates split into groups of around ten people. A number of media attended the event and photographers, who were interested in the company’s history and also the number of new jobs that have been created. The result was dozens of letters or emails of great feedback from customers and a large amount of excellent media coverage in regional and trade media, which has helped to raise the profile of the business significantly.
Fusco’s of Whitby – 50th anniversary
Fusco’s is one of Whitby’s longest established fish and chip businesses and recently we helped to plan and manage an open day to mark the company’s anniversary. With four restaurants and takeaways across the region, the company approached Dragonfly PR to put together a communications campaign to maximise interest in the business and raise awareness of its 50th anniversary. A special event was held at Royal Fisheries, the company’s original outlet where the business was founded in Whitby. We invited local delegates and regional press, radio and TV, as well as a select number of food trade titles.
The open day was a huge success, following many weeks of careful planning and preparation. Each guest was treated to a champagne reception and a fish and chip lunch and there were speeches by owner Carol Fusco, who talked about the history of the company and brought it right up to the present day. We heavily promoted the 50th anniversary through social media, via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and experienced a large increase in followers and likes over the celebratory period. We have recently carried out a six month evaluation of the campaign and will be bringing you the results shortly – watch this space! We achieved a great deal of media coverage including a double page spread in Yorkshire Life magazine, as well as extensive mentions in local, regional and trade printed, broadcast and online titles.
Dragonfly PR is a South Yorkshire based PR agency that specialises in public relations for construction and PR for manufacturing, with extensive experience in many industry sectors including building products, rail, food manufacture and engineering.
If you need a hand with organising an open day or securing publicity for a company event, please contact our PR team on 01709 300130 or email email@example.com.