Getting Creative This Christmas

January 5, 2021
Rachel Colgan

As we approach the Twelfth Day of Christmas when traditionally the trees come down and the decorations are put away, we’re reflecting on the many Christmas campaigns organised for our clients this festive period.

In the world of PR, there’s no time quite as busy as Christmas and we were busier than ever at the end of last year. With Covid-19 restrictions in place, creativity was key in organising successful Christmas campaigns for our clients.

From installing post boxes to Father Christmas, to supporting local foodbanks and arranging virtual Christmas carols, our clients truly embraced the ‘new normal’ and gave their residents and local communities a Christmas to remember.

Elf Wars

A life-sized Elf on the Shelf made an appearance at multiple Barratt Homes developments across Sussex and Hampshire. Residents and visitors were able to spot the elf in situ around the development sales centres. ‘Elf Wars’ even broke out between site teams as to who could put their elf in the most exciting location and position.

Elf on the Shelf at Barratt Homes Chapel Gate

Dear Santa…

Annington Santa Post Box

Annington set up post boxes to the North Pole at its developments in Carterton, Oxfordshire and Bordon in Hampshire. Children in the local community were invited to write and post their letters to Father Christmas. Santa even wrote responses to the children which were sent directly from his grotto.

Grow your own ‘kidmas’ tree

Vaughan Primary School students planting their Christmas Tree Saplings

Barratt Developments celebrated Christmas in a more sustainable way and donated over 2,500 Christmas tree saplings to school children near a range of its developments across London and the south east. The pupils were able to take home their very own ‘kidmas tree’ to plant and watch it grow for years to come. Who knows they might have a fully grown Christmas tree within a couple of years?

Donations, donations and more donations

Lara Forsey with Barratt London foodbank donations

Christmas is a time for giving and our clients have given to a variety of good causes this festive season. Barratt London donated a van full of non-perishable food to a selection of foodbanks across the capital, which helped to feed those who were unable to afford the traditional Christmas dinner. Annington gifted memory trees to care homes and hospitals to remind patients that they aren’t alone despite not being able to have visits from family and friends.

The show must go on…

Alder Valley Brass Band Annington performance

Nothing says Christmas like a carol concert. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions, alongside many other events and activities, the majority of in person carol concerts where audience members gather in their hats and scarfs with a cup of mulled wine and a mince pie were cancelled this year. That didn’t stop clients Barratt London and Annington who organised virtual and socially distanced carol concerts at several of its new homes’ developments.

Gospel choir Get Gospel performed at Barratt London’s Upton Gardens, while youth choir Invicta Voices sung a more traditional concert at the housebuilder’s Ridgeway Views development in Mill Hill. Instead of a choir, Annington opted for Alder Valley Brass Band to tie in with its military connections. In all three instances residents were treated to the musical performance which could be viewed from their balconies or front doorsteps. One Annington resident said of the concert: “It was lovely to see lots of families outside our section and my son thoroughly enjoyed it. We are now in a much more Christmassy mood.”

Community Christmas countdown

Described by The Telegraph’s Good News Newsletter as “a really sweet” campaign to “celebrate community” our biggest challenge this year was the unveiling of Barratt London’s Virtual Advent Calendar, which helped residents get to know their neighbours in a festive and socially distanced way. The social media campaign was showcased on the housebuilder’s Instagram and Facebook pages. Each day followers were introduced to a new resident at one of its London based developments. The campaign has been a great platform to celebrate the strong communities that have been formed as a result of the pandemic.

Resident Steven Luemba as part of the Virtual Advent Calendar

Despite being extremely busy, the team still had time to plan our own virtual Christmas party! Where we had the chance to build and decorate our own wreaths, thanks to a zoom lesson courtesy of Enfleur Flower Design.

Looking ahead to this year we can’t wait to continue providing high quality PR campaigns and events for our clients despite the ongoing challenges.

To find out more about how we could offer your business PR support, campaigns and events such as these get in touch at pr@building-relations.co.uk