Be the Business

Developing a new hospitality awards scheme

Be the Business is a national organisation created to close the UK’s productivity gap. They identified that the hospitality industry suffers from particularly poor productivity.

As Cornwall heavily relies on hospitality and tourism to thrive, it chose the Duchy for a pilot project to improve the sector’s productivity levels.

We were appointed to create a new awards scheme which would encourage Cornish hospitality businesses to take steps to improve productivity. The brief covered the creative concept and format, event delivery, and an integrated marketing campaign covering each stage of the awards scheme.


Be the Business set three main objectives:

  • Engage with at least 100 Cornish hospitality businesses, encouraging them to identify and action changes to boost productivity.
  • Achieve 150 award entries from Cornish hospitality businesses, showcasing how they are already improving productivity.
  • Build the Cornwall Hospitality Leaders Network to 100 members, achieving 25 sign-ups to action-learning groups.

Developing the Concept

After initial research, we created three concepts for the awards programme: Hospitality Hacks, Hospitality Heroes, and Innovation.

Hospitality Hacks and Hospitality Heroes were taken to a select group of Cornwall-based hospitality businesses for testing, which involved delivering a presentation about both concepts, and carrying out face-to-face interviews.

Hospitality Hacks – a tip or trick used to improve a business’ productivity – was chosen, as it focused on ‘sharing’ ideas rather than ‘winning’, and allowed employees at all levels of a business to enter.

We realised that due to the time constraints that hospitality workers face, entry should be quick and easy. It was decided that entrants could submit their hacks via a website, or use #HospitalityHacks across social media.

The campaign

To encourage the target demographic to share their hacks, we took an integrated marketing communications approach across paid, earned, shared and owned media. Over four months, we:

  • Created a social media campaign across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to drive entries, supported by 21 targeted adverts.
  • Wrote and issued five press releases to local media to reach a high density of Cornish hospitality businesses.
  • Carried out bespoke pitching to key trade media outlets, television, and broadcast media to build awareness of the campaign amongst key business leaders.
  • Placed radio advertising with Pirate FM to reach a large number of Cornwall listeners.
  • Assisted in the co-ordination of an experience-led bus tour across hospitality business-rich Cornish towns, running workshops with hospitality marketing experts.
  • Organised and hosted final awards event at local venue Nancarrow Farm.
  • Sent email marketing campaigns to the Visit Cornwall email marketing database, as Be the Business’ database was small.
  • Designed a leaflet for business owners/ leaders, sending it via direct mail.
  • Appointed brand ambassadors from leading Cornish hospitality businesses and local influencers to promote the roadshow and awards event via their marketing channels.

Exceeding targets

The Cornish Hospitality awards scheme outperformed all expectations


People reached across 24 pieces of print, digital and broadcast coverage


People reached through social media and radio advertising


Cornish hospitality businesses joined the Cornwall Hospitality Leaders Network (target 100)


Hospitality Hacks entered (target 150)


Roadshow attendees (target 180)


Sign ups to the Cornwall Hospitality Leaders Network (target 25)


The campaign achieved 24 pieces of print, digital and broadcast coverage, with a total reach of 411,694 people. This included an in-depth piece on local television news programme BBC Spotlight, covering the Hospitality Hacks bus tour, and some of those who had benefitted from Be the Business’ work in Cornwall. 

We reached 508,418 people across social media, with over 8,000 engagements, as well as 3,301,108 impressions via radio advertising. A total of 4,282 visits were made to the website as a result of the campaign, with 2,200 businesses being reached via third-party email. A further 540 businesses were reached via the direct mail drop.

Exceeding Be the Business’ original objectives, 271 people joined the Cornwall Hospitality Leaders Network (target 100) and 43 joined action-learning groups (target 25).

232 Hospitality Hacks were shared across the channels (target 150), with 251 people attending the roadshow (target 180), and 120 people attending the final awards ceremony.


CIPR PRide Awards – Gold, Travel Leisure or Tourism Campaign

CIPR PRide Awards 2019

Gold, Best Travel, Tourism or Leisure Campaign

CIPR PRide Awards – Gold, Travel Leisure or Tourism Campaign

CIPR PRide Awards 2019

Gold, Best Integrated Campaign

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