UK: HTA wins PR Week award for ‘best coronavirus crisis management’

The HTA has been recognised by public relations and media professionals for its successful campaign in the Spring to reopen garden centres from lockdown, by winning the prestigious PR Week Awards ‘best coronavirus crisis management’ award.

It was awarded for the industry’s ‘Keep Britain Blooming’ campaign, which generated national media coverage to highlight the crisis facing the industry as well as the nation’s wellbeing, while putting pressure on the UK Government and the devolved administrations to commit to reopening garden centres during the first phase of easing lockdown restrictions.

The HTA, supported by PR consultants the BIG Partnership, created a compelling narrative, using data, case studies and a wide range of spokespeople to highlight the impacts lockdown was having, increasing the profile of the UK ornamental horticulture industry. This resulted in coverage on BBC, Sky, leader articles in The Times, Telegraph as well as multiple regional and local media. Over 70 MPs, AMs, MSPs publicly backed the campaign.

The PR Week judges praised the campaign saying: “It was measurable and strategic, with a real purpose at the heart.”

“Everyone saw this campaign! The stark reality of wasted plants and flowers hit the front pages and appealed to our hearts and minds. The use of case studies and famous people like Alan Titchmarsh kept story in the Tier 1 press and helped the key objective of the campaign - namely to open the centres”.

“This is an excellent campaign which reached not only its media KPIs but also persuaded the Government to change the lockdown rules as a priority for HTA - I'm still seeing great coverage of gardens and businesses which shows how impactful it was”.

Commenting on the award, James Clark, Director of Policy and Communications at the HTA said: “This award is great recognition of the huge work and effort put in by the whole industry to make this campaign so successful and realise £250m back in to the industry at such a crucial time of the year. Members answered our call to action, lobbying politicians, acting as spokespeople, sharing their stories, helping to show what the real impacts of lockdown was having on their businesses and their families. It’s a great example of how the industry pulled together in a time of crisis to illustrate why the industry matters to this country."

"However, we need to continue to guard against going back to a March-style national lockdown where garden centres are closed for weeks and months on end. We are lobbying governments across the UK to ensure our members’ voices are heard and the economic and wellbeing benefits of the ornamental horticulture industry are recognised by policymakers”.

For more information:
Horticultural Trades Association
Horticulture House
19 High Street
West Berkshire
T: +44 (0)118 930 3132
Fax: +44 (0)118 932 3453
NGGV: +44 (0)118 930 2092

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