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Outsourced Press Office solution for Mitchells & Butlers PLC

Press Office
Press Office

Brief

Our brief is to deliver Mitchells & Butlers Press Office which has been outsourced to spottydog since October 2016.

As a FTSE 250 company, operating a host of famous restaurant and pub brands, the Mitchells & Butlers Press Office typically responds to and manages over 60 media enquiries, filming requests and company issues a month. spottydog’s role is to provide 24/7 operation of the Press Office to support the organisation in response to reactive media requests, acting as spokesperson for the business, and to assist with crisis and issues management.

We are required to respond on a range of topics including food sourcing, nutrition, food safety, responsible alcohol retailing, employment issues, legal, security, loss of life, community issues and trade communications.

Action

In response to our brief, spottydog assembled a core team of senior PR professionals experienced in delivering press office, corporate and crisis management activity.

We created detailed documentation of all Press Office operating practices to ensure robust and consistent processes to enable us to provide a 24/7 operation. When awarded the contract, we delivered an implementation plan to onboard spottydog to Mitchells & Butlers through a series of presentations to the internal stakeholders, including the legal, human resources and security teams. We also created a dedicated 24/7 media hotline number which utilises cloud telecoms to enable diversion to the appropriate on-call Press Officer.

To deliver a rapid response to all enquiries the brief requires the spottydog Press Office team to have a thorough understanding of Mitchells & Butlers business. This includes knowledge of the businesses, its brands, operations and people, in addition to working closely with their in–house internal communications team and their financial PR agency, Finsbury, to ensure messaging is aligned.

To align ourselves to the business, to understand its brands and the way it operates we maintain a physical presence at the company’s Birmingham head office. This gives us visibility to Mitchells & Butlers’ leadership and internal communications teams and represents our commitment to delivering an effective press office solution.

Results

The transition from an in-house team to an outsourced provider was seamless, and the resource was flexible enough to accommodate scenario planning and corporate issues management alongside the day-to-day press office management, monitoring of press activity, out of hours PR support, reactive enquiries and proactive trade media relations.

By reviewing legacy Press Office operating systems we have streamlined processes, improved flexibility of team members and provided a more proactive, strategic service, which we have successfully delivered for Mitchells & Butlers since October 2016.

Testimonial, Sophie Chadd, Mitchells & Butlers Marketing Support Manager, May 2020: “spottydog is an integral partner to M&B and our confidence in the team means we’ve extended this contract into a fifth year. At a time when we’ve furloughed many employees our reliance on spottydog increased. We have complete trust that spottydog has the expertise to protect our corporate reputation at one of the most difficult times our business will face.”