Challenging the Essex stereotype, in partnership with Visit Essex, has been an amazing opportunity. We were even more delighted to find out we’ve been shortlisted for a PRCA Dare Award for the #ThisisEssex campaign!
Visit Essex, the county’s tourism body and Big Wave PR, a leading lifestyle and B2B PR agency, have received a joint shortlist at the PRCA Dare Awards (South East) for #ThisisEssex, a campaign which challenges the Essex stereotype.
#ThisisEssex was launched in the autumn of 2019 and encouraged the people of Essex to step forward and showcase the real stars of the county. An oysterman, chefs and a comedian, stepped forward, including best-selling novelist, Martina Cole and Michelin star chefs, the Galvin Brothers. Photo and film shoots began apace and a new calendar and a pop-up gallery of Essex was launched. Fast forward to October 2020 and a new film dispelling Essex stereotypes gained its world premiere on BBC Breakfast. In all the film gained nearly 500,000 online views. #ThisisEssex provided over one billion opportunities to see. The campaign also helped reposition Essex as a place to visit, live, study and invest.
Lisa Bone, Strategic Tourism Manager, Visit Essex, explains: “The perception of Essex, for many years, has been on people rather than place. We needed to confront stereotypes in a bold and tongue-in-cheek fashion before providing a new narrative.”
The campaign was launched and developed by award-winning Essex-based PR and marketing agency, Big Wave PR. Hilary Collins, Founder and Managing Director, Big Wave PR, claims the campaign was a career high. She says: “Our team members live in the county and as PRs getting to challenge the Essex stereotype was such as great opportunity. #ThisisEssex was definitely a highpoint in our careers.”
She continued: “We’ve all experienced the Essex jokes, but I, like many others, love Essex. We’re so glad the campaign has made people take a second look at Essex. We’re over the moon to have made the PRCA Dare awards shortlist.”
Visit Essex and Big Wave PR are the only finalists representing organisations from the Eastern region at the awards. The winners of the PRCA Dare Awards will be announced on 1 July at The Waldorf Hilton Hotel, London.