Laura Ashley Hotels

“PR Superstar helped us identify the most appropriate media outlets and brought us top quality national and international coverage across a range of platforms. This exposure enabled us to grow sales rapidly. If you’re looking for reliable, quality PR for your business, I wholeheartedly recommend Jill Kent.”

Andrew Clayton, CEO, Laura Ashley Hotels and Corus Hotels

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Background and Brief

Laura Ashley, one of the world’s best loved fashion and home furnishings retailers, entered the luxury hotel market in summer 2013, with the launch of a glamorous 49-room hotel near London. The boutique hotel, named ‘Laura Ashley The Manor, Elstree’, provided a showcase for the brand’s furniture, home accessories and high-end interior design service.

Having been repeatedly disappointed by the larger PR agencies, I was hired by the Laura Ashley team to launch the hotel to the UK mass media in order to generate a buzz around the new venture and drive enquiries and bookings. I was brought in again to launch Laura Ashley’s second hotel, The Belsfield, on the shores on Lake Windermere, in summer 2014. Named ‘Laura Ashley The Belsfield, Lake District,’ the hotel in the resort town of Bowness-on-Windermere combines classic British elegance and deluxe facilities with some of the finest views the Lake District National Park has to offer.

Campaign and Results

To generate news stories, I invited key fashion and travel journalists to the launch events and followed these with invitations to stay at the hotels in return for editorial coverage. I created a series of newsworthy press releases, tailored for different media and supported by stunning imagery of the interiors and grounds. I emphasised the enormity of the launch: this was the global fashion brand’s first foray into the luxury hotel market, moving from the world of retail to hospitality.

During the campaign I carried out intensive media relations, calling and emailing journalists on local, regional, national and international newspapers, glossy magazines and high-ranking websites, as well as specialist business, travel, food, fashion, and wedding publications. I pushed hard for online and offline news stories, photo features, reviews, readers’ competitions and offers, comment pieces, and those all-important backlinks to help with the hotel’s SEO.

I secured glowing coverage in every UK national newspaper from The Sun to The FT, including many full-page and half-page features in the travel sections, together with articles on the business and fashion pages. The campaign also attracted global coverage in publications such as The New York Times and The South China Morning Post. Magazines from Hello! to Vogue stayed at the hotels.

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