CASE STUDY: IAN MACLEOD DISTILLERS

1.5 million
media coverage reach
Over 20
events supported
25,000+
people reached through events
10
new brand partnerships

THE BRIEF

Ian Macleod Distillers is a leading Scottish distiller; an independent business that creates some of the best-known whisky and gin brands in the UK. The family-run business is behind the likes of Glengoyne, Tamdhu, Edinburgh Gin and Smokehead, to name a few, and is also the UK distributor for Atlantico Rum.

We were introduced to their national account manager, responsible for building the profile of each of the key brands and securing new stockists across the Midlands, and were brought on board to support with regional food and drink PR and marketing. Our role was to drive localised media coverage; build relationships with key journalists, bloggers and influencers; promote exciting events; and create a wealth of new opportunities for the brand.

OUR APPROACH

Food and drink PR is very much our bag at EAST VILLAGE., working with the likes of Living For The Weekend – the creators of Birmingham Cocktail Weekend, Birmingham Wine Weekend and Birmingham Restaurant Festival – and Midlands Whisky Festival, to name a few.

Ian Macleod Distillers was keen to capitalise on its recent success by building a strong reputation across the Midlands, focused first on Birmingham and the West Midlands, and then expanding across the East Midlands. The brief was to secure new listings in bars and restaurants, connect with key retailers to become stockists, and entice new customers to start drinking their much-loved brands.

Working together

We worked closely with the account manager throughout: getting to grips with her overall sales strategy, and crafting ideas that would support her activity. We had regular meetings and calls, and set monthly targets to stay on track.

Key tactics

Armed with her sales strategy, we then created a complementary food and drink PR and marketing plan. We’d work across each product line, as well as the overall Ian Macleod Distillers brand. Our plans focused on securing regional media coverage, engaging local food and drink influencers, hosting events targeted at press and on trade, and collabs.

Adding value

Keen to create relationships with local journalists and secure press coverage, we went to our Little Black Book of existing contacts with a host of news stories to whet their appetite. We hosted them at brand events across the region and hosted a press trip to Scotland, where they met the teams at the Glengoyne and Edinburgh Gin distilleries.

Measuring success

With plans changing depending on the overall sales activity and stockists confirmed, we had to ensure that our support was flexible enough to adapt when needed. That said, we did set targets for individual activity; for example, the number of posts expected following influencer campaigns and attendees at trade events.

RESULTS

Our aim was to introduce Ian Macleod Distillers to the region and shine a light on its products through a diverse range of events targeting gin-lovers and whisky drinkers alike. We worked closely with the team to deliver impactful food and drink PR; securing extensive press coverage, organising and hosting a multitude of events, and expanding the reach of each brand to the general public.

Reviews from events, alongside general coverage across the board on product pages and event promotion, gained a total coverage of over 1.5 million.

We supported the team with over 20 events, including a hosted Gin Labs at Birmingham Cocktail Weekend, Burns Night dinner at Hotel du Vin, and Edinburgh Gin afternoon tea at Harvey Nichols.

Collabs were also a key part of our strategy, helping to secure a partnership with blow LTD, and sponsorship of major events including Birmingham Comedy Festival and Birmingham Cocktail Weekend. This helped Ian Macleod Distillers reach over 25,000 people in just one summer.

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