(Extracts from The Jewellery Quarter Marketing Initiative Newsletter May 2010)
‘This Newsletter outlines some of the key achievements over the last year and some of our plans for this year. Over the last year we have achieved some significant results in marketing the Jewellery Quarter. Our aim is to work with key partners namely the Jewellery Quarter Association (JQA), The Assay Office, Jewellery Quarter Neighbourhood Forum (JQNF) and the Jewellery Industry Business Skills Support group (JIBSS).
This will give us a considerable platform to lobby City Council and other appropriate groups to make sure that they remain committed to the area.
Jewellery Quarter Cuts
Following the past 4 months of campaigning against Jewellery Quarter cuts the JQMI, JQA, JQNF and Jewellery Industry Strategy Group have successfully worked together in trying to prevent closures of the Jewellery Quarter Regeneration Partnership Office, the Information Centre and to guarantee BCC’s continued support for World Heritage and the Golden Square.
The outcome included retaining the JQRP office and Andy Munro, JQRP Operations Director but sadly the three office staff were either relocated or made redundant. However, the Information Centre and Mary Bradley have been retained to provide the service that our businesses and visitors have come to expect. Our Marketing Manager, Anna Gibson will continue to be based in the Quarter two days a week to continue my work on marketing the area.
Work will continue on developing the Golden Square and bidding for World Heritage Site Status will also continue as planned. Please log on to www.jeweileryquarter.net for updated information over the coming year.
Working with the JQRP, the Police, the Home Office and JQMI funding was obtained and free retail radios were offered to appropriate JQMI members. The radios were also featured on Central TV putting a positive “The Jewellery Quarter is a safe area” angle on what could have been a very negative piece following FEDEX suspending their service in the Quarter. Already the radios have been used to alert the Police and members therefore preventing crime.
Distribution of Jewellery Quarter Guides and restaurant leaflets
Through working with key hotels in the City the Radisson Blu has agreed to place copies of the Jewellery Quarter Essential Guide in each of their bedrooms. The Hyatt Regency has agreed to distribute the Essential Guide to guests and there will be future opportunities of partnership working with them via myself. These opportunities are key to promoting the Jewellery Quarter to delegates who attend city events and the many tourists who enjoy the City’s retail offer.
Ongoing relationships with Chiltern Railways has resulted in excess of £300k worth of partnership working resulting in racking of Jewellery Quarter guides, tourism leaflets and restaurant information that specifically mentions members contact details, their sponsorship/advertising at Chiltern owned stations from Marylebone to Moor St. The Quarter is also highlighted on the Chiltern Railways website encouraging visitors to come and experience what the Jewellery Quarter has to offer.
Christmas Campaign 2009
A considerable amount of money was collected from those members who generously gave to promoting the Christmas Jewellery Quarter offer. This enabled members to either have specific air time mentions on BRMB or Smooth radio or websites. Although trade was generally slow in the City the campaign kept the Quarter on the map for shoppers. Media campaigns can be costly but through partnership working and ongoing relations with the media there was an extra £90k worth of free publicity obtained including three features in the Birmingham Mail, on air mentions, publicity covering the Christmas light switch on, jewellery competitions, 70 poster sites across the City and a dedicated website shopping page which linked to other partners such as Chiltern Railways, BRMB and Smooth Radio.
Anna Gibson set up and accompanied the Birmingham Mail journalist’s visit to the Quarter – she wanted to visit specific retail members who had not been promoted in previous shopping features. This resulted in almost two pages of publicity which was part of a city wide Valentine’s Day shopping feature.
Local/ National/International Press/PR
A number of journalist visits have been hosted during the last 6 months and features written which include:-
Lonely Planet Student Guide – several hundred thousand guides have been published and distributed via Universities, Colleges and will also be included in City delegate packs where appropriate. The Jewellery Quarter has its own specific section but is also mentioned under several subsidiary sections where appropriate. Birmingham has one of the largest student populations in the country.
Boston, USA, Free Newspapers- A highly acclaimed tourism writer visited the Jewellery Quarter and was so amazed at what the area had to offer her readers that she will be coming back to do further articles.
BMI Baby on board magazine- A three page feature appeared in the Dec-Jan edition of the magazine which included a map of the Quarter that highlighted 20 specific unique selling points that the Quarter has to offer.
Birmingham Mail – Four double page shopping features and several follow up articles have appeared in the Mail covering events and lobbying against Jewellery Quarter cuts.
Homes & Interiors Magazine – An opportunity presented itself for our gallery members to have a full page feature promoting unique gifts and gallery art that the Quarter has to offer.
Jewellery Quarter Website
Recent figures show that www.jewelleryquarter.net remains top of the search engine for the term “Jewellery Quarter” and is receiving over 10,000 unique hits a month. The most popular contact remains Shopping and The Directory. Please make sure that you keep your page up to date and if you have not completed a form to load up a page for your business, please contact Anna Gibson.
Multi-Story Car Park Plans
Plans are still pushing ahead to refurbish the Vyse St multi- storey car park at a cost of over £500,000, the JQMI is keeping the pressure on the City Council Highways Department to insure that these improvements are delivered this year.
Following lobbying from the JQMI, the Police have agreed to keep open their reception and maintain the current level of ‘Bobbies on the Beat’.
This year the budget for flowers has been reduced but we are determined to keep the standard up to previous years. Consequently, we have agreed with the City Council that whilst they will charge non JQMI members the full cost, members will receive a substantial discount.
Research on visitors show that over half come primarily to shop and 60% have something to eat or drink in the Quarter. One of the top three frequently asked questions is ‘where can I buy wedding or engagement rings’. Around 40% visitors are from the Birmingham area, 17% from the wider West Midlands and 34%, from the wider UK and the remainder from abroad-figures kindly supplied by Mary Bradley, Jewellery Quarter Information Centre.
Contact Details. Anna Gibson, the JQ Marketing Initiative Manager can be contacted on 07966 981695 if you require further details on any of our activities or would like to become a member.
Directors: Jeff Green (Chair), Chris Green, Mike Henrick, Philip Jackson, George McKenzie, Dave Roberts, Neville Topping, Stephen Whittaker
Jewellery Quarter Marketing Initiative Ltd