As the wholesale sector and major suppliers planned to deploy record numbers of staff helping independent retailers to celebrate National Independents’ Week (NIW) beginning on June 2, the My Shop Is Your Shop campaign held a media and ideas forum for leading retailer activists.
Meeting at the Gallaher offices in Crewe, ten top independents underwent mock-interviews on camera and were helped to structure answers to typical press questions to get key messages over to the consumer.
MSYS public relations consultant Alan Twigg was the trainer for the day accompanied by campaign chairman Alan Toft and marketing advisor Graham Shelley. David Visick, deputy editor of Convenience Store magazine, was present to add the reality of a working trade journalist and helped to guide the training.
After an initial interview on camera, retailers were briefed on how to get their best points on their community involvement over to the viewer – and then they were filmed for a second time to demonstrate their improved confidence and communication skills.
Later in the day, the group held an ideas forum on community activities that would be of interest particularly to local and regional newspapers, radio and TV.
Toft said: “This was another ground-breaking MSYS activity demonstrating the thoroughness with which we are approaching our work giving positive and practical help to independents.”
Sylvia Winter, who runs the Creaton Post Office Store, near Northampton, said: “This was a very instructive and creative event. Discussing my ideas with fellow retailers and taking on board their activities helps me to re-focus on our local community involvement.”
Dee Sadani, Londis retailer from Derby, said: “MSYS is a great campaign and the media training was exceptional.”
Leeds-based Best-one retailer Paul Thompson said: “I learned so much. Every independent should be aware of media opportunities. I certainly am now.”
l See pages 10 and 20 for more on NIW
=== Booker ===
Booker will have management executives and sales force representatives helping independent retailers in-store during NIW on a nationwide basis. Retailers are being offered guidance on ideas for profile, building their businesses in their local communities to tie in with the week.