Positioning Liberty as the champion of the UK steel industry, our team helped turn a company with a relatively low UK profile into national front page news
The steel crisis has been one of the most political and emotively charged running stories of 2015/6. Through thorough research on the landscape, we sought to align Liberty’s aspirations with the wider UK steel and economic agenda.
Their first big move was to buy a relatively small works – 150 workers - in Newport. We positioned its reopening and Liberty’s new business model as going against the grain of a collapsing UK steel sector; this made it a strong nationwide story. This was further strengthened by holding the Newport relaunch on the very day in October 2015 the Government held a crisis ‘summit’ after the closure of Redcar steelworks. We made strong play of the fact that Liberty had continued paying the Newport workers for many months while the mill was mothballed; to preserve the skillbase for the future.
Following relaunch we continued using juxta-positioning tactics, as Liberty made further acquisitions across the UK, bringing positive stories to the news agenda.
In March 2015, things shifted dramatically when Tata Steel announced the sale of its loss-making UK assets. Liberty’s Executive Chair Sanjeev was first to show tentative interest and, following some days of careful media briefing, Liberty were positioned as frontrunners to buy the business. Though virtual unknowns six months previously, Liberty believed a high profile would help attract investors to support their bid. This proved to be the case.
Since then, we’ve managed just about every high profile media outlet in the English speaking world, regularly briefing and arranging interviews with everyone from Financial Times, The Times, The Telegraph, Guardian, BBC Radio 4, BBC Newsnight, Bloomberg and Sky News. The Indian media is also another key channel for our stories, reflecting the heritage of the brand.
Media messages have been carefully constructed where we needed to influence Westminster, Scottish and Welsh politicians, industry commentators, Tata itself, the unions and individual steelworkers.