Vision Express acquired over 200 Tesco Opticians in late 2017 and enlisted the support of The Tonic to deliver PR for retail events

The brief was to plan and deliver activity around the acquisition, managing launches at the re-branded stores. This had to align with an intensive refurbishment schedule that saw around 12 outlets open every week between January and June.

Strategic approach

The Tonic’s strategic approach was to cluster stores by regional area – and media patch – and identify one store per cluster to hold a retail PR event at. Special guests were approached and secured to officiate and provide a media hook.

A total of 45 MPs and Mayors were engaged to participate in the celebrations, alongside ambassadors from Vision Express’ charity partners- the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, Stroke Association, International Glaucoma Association and Macular Society.

Customers who had compelling stories to tell from a condition being detected via an eye test were invited to join the opening events. Plus high profile individuals were engaged, such as Olympian Bryan Steel. The Tonic team was responsible for all project and event management. This covered briefing guests, booking photographers, liaising with stores, onsite event handling and pitching media stories.

The results

  • 123 opening events were held across the UK, from Cornwall to Inverness, at an average rate of 10 events per week
  • 105 media stories were developed and distributed
  • 230 pieces of coverage were generated, of which 100% were positive and contained key messaging about Tesco being home to Vision Express optical expertise
  • Almost 5.5 million consumers were reached.

Jenny Wye, senior PR manager at Vision Express, said: “This project was crucial to the business and involved engaging stakeholders across both Tesco and Vision Express, working within tight timescales and managing many moving parts. The Tonic team dealt effortlessly with the challenges inherent in such a large, intensive project – including a snowstorm that brought the UK to a standstill. They worked seamlessly with our in-house team and executed a rolling programme of nationwide events and PR activity to an extremely high standard, exceeding KPIs and delivering an impressive volume of positive, on-brand coverage.”

The Tonic is experienced at delivering results through PR for retail events. Get in touch to find out more.