ODPR role May 2003 to March 2004: PR, Marketing, Event Management, Stakeholder and Communications Manager
The National CRM Programme was formed to show how local authorities could use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) processes and provide council staff and customers with an improved approach to service, and the costs associated with the products available.
On Demand PR secured an initial three-month campaign up to the press launch in June; was invited to work on a further nine month campaign to event manage five subsequent Supplier Forum events (140 delegates and 20 suppliers) and culminated in the CRM dissemination event in March 2004 with 250 delegates.
The On Demand PR approach
On the 14th May 2003, just four weeks from the official launch date of the National CRM Programme, On Demand PR was invited into London Borough of Tower Hamlets and asked to put some ideas on the table about the way On Demand PR would go about the official launch of the National Customer Relationship Management Programme on 17th June. Two and half hours later, during which time I was able to demonstrate my capabilities, and secured the contract and started work that same afternoon.
In a nutshell, for the remaining three weeks the National CRM Programme Communications Manager at London Borough of Tower Hamlets, and I co-ordinated the whole of the campaign; finalised text for the brochure; developed the web site text; produced a Frequently Asked Questions document for the Board Directors and Public; invited Local Authorities to the event; secured pre-coverage of the event on the web sites of SOLACE, SOCITM and ODPM, commercial web sites - kablenet.co.uk (Government Computing) and egovmonitor.com as well as Public coverage during and after the event. There was much work going on 'behind the scenes' to make sure the event went as planned, and I was involved in the planning of the process to ensure its success.
I had 180 Local Authority representatives at Cabots Hall on 17th June 2003 and the launch was regarded as so clearly meeting its objective it that provided an excellent start to the overall National CRM Programme.
CRM Suppliers Forums
In June 2003 with just three weeks’ notice, On Demand PR in their capacity as Event Management, arranged the launch of the CRM Suppliers Forum and the three subsequent meetings that took place on the 1st, 22nd and 29th July. This involved: instigating a web site for suppliers to register online to attend the events and created a Suppliers Directory to capture key information on the level of business they have with Local Authorities; working with the National CRM Programme Project Manager for Suppliers at London Borough of Brent, to arrange the content, speakers and their presentations; liaising with the venues, creating all of the hand out material on the day and producing evaluation / feedback reports on all three events. During the CRM Suppliers Forum launch I had 120 companies register on the Suppliers Directory and over 130 individuals attended the meetings.
A subsequent Suppliers Forum event held on October 21st 2003 had 37 out of an invited list of 40 attend a half day workshop primarily based on Standards. This event was planned, organised and held all within a 15 working day timetable.
On Demand PR's additional deliverable for the National CRM Programme, was the Suppliers Showcase which took place at the Marriott Hotel Slough/Windsor on Wednesday 28th January 2004.
I was responsible for ensuring 140 local authority delegates met with 20 CRM related suppliers during the course of the day for one-to-one, pre-arranged business appointments.
The local authorities discovered how to implement a CRM strategy and more importantly learned of the options they have in the costs variables of each of the products available. This was the first time that local authorities have ever been given an option such as this, and since July 2003, the Suppliers Forum/Showcase has been the first to deliver the opportunity for local authorities to meet with suppliers in an open environment to discuss options on how to develop their products to match the needs of their specialist requirements.
Despite the imminent threat of a blizzard in January, on the day over 95 local authorities attended this seminar. It was considered a success by both delegates and the management that attended.
On Demand PR has been one of the key players in ensuring these events are successful and I am proud to be a part of breaking down the belief that suppliers and local authorities shouldn't talk to each other. As a Suppliers Forum I received positive feedback from suppliers and delegates to continue building these relationships, which I did throughout 2004.
CRM - Dissemination Event - London - Wednesday 17th March 2004
In the ten months that the promotional aspect of the National CRM Programme had been running, they had assembled a full communications team that had been responsible for the event management for the CRM Dissemination event on 17th March. However, as I have enjoyed a successful on-going working relationship with this National Programme, On Demand PR was invited to target our extensive local authority database to encourage more local authorities to register, and then to prepare 250 delegate packs and badges for the day. I was delighted to remain involved in the CRM National Programme from the first event right the way through to the end.