Pete Moorey, Head of Campaigns and Neil Henderson, Head of News Content at consumer choice magazine Which? joined communications and marketing managers from some of the UK’s leading brands at MWW UK’s London office to talk about how brands can work with Which? to champion and support consumers.
Key takeaways from the event include:
Print media is not doomed. Despite the recent loss of The Independent’s print paper, a number of print publications are succeeding – including Which? who have over 900,00 monthly subscribers.
- Digital and social channels are also becoming more prevalent to achieve success. Their most popular social media campaigns include evaluating nuisance callers, questioning whether banks should be fined, demanding fairer energy prices and issuing safety alerts on fire-risk home appliances
- Which? is not “out to get” brands, but instead work with them to advise on best practice and better ways to deal with consumers
Which? is nearly 60 years old and employs 600 staff, campaigning for better telecoms, energy prices and bills, public services, compensation for flight delays, research into credit cards and travel terms and conditions. It also has an annual rail, car and customer service surveys. The publication utilises data and research driven content that keeps their readers, supporters and journalists engaged.
Not just the consumer brand police!
Which? tries to police consumer brands as well as advise brands on best practice and better ways to deal with customers. It gets results, for example, by launching a super complaint with the competition authorities on supermarket pricing and offers. Which? staff often meet the big bosses of companies to challenge them to change.
Which? has bucked the trend of declining print magazine sales, with over 900,000 people subscribing to their monthly magazines online and in print. In addition, over 600,000 people support numerous Which? campaigns into nuisance calls, energy prices and sneaky fees.
Which? places social media at the heart of their busy press office, with social media tactics including reacting to external events with a strong message and powerful image on a subject that taps into public anger.
Most successful social media campaigns include campaigning for banks to be fined for breaking the law, encouraging people to take action on nuisance callers (which reached 150,000+ consumers), and raising awareness of ticketing scams, for example the recent scam ripping off customers with fake tickets to Adele’s concerts.
The year ahead
Which? believes the environment they are campaigning in has changed significantly – politically and economically. It predicts 2016 will be a big year for energy and banking, and pensions will remain a priority. Telecoms and transport have also moved rapidly up the agenda.
Which? wants to provide consumers with the assets and support to make change themselves – or encourage companies to change their practices and become consumer champions. It is increasingly looking for ways to achieve change directly with companies, and meets over 250 company chief executives every year.
MWW will be running quarterly sessions like this with key brands and organisations in the UK.
For more information on this event, or MWW UK’s event programme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 7046 6080.