Millbrook Proving Ground

Following its sale by General Motors, who was also its biggest customer, Millbrook now had to compete for new work in a tough marketplace. It needed to rapidly ensure awareness of its offering to a wide audience and build a strong, recurring pipeline.

Headquartered in Bedfordshire on a 700-acre site, Millbrook is the UK’s leading vehicle testing facility for the design, engineering and development of automotive technology, to customers in the transportation, petrochemical and defence industries. 

The Challenge

Following its sale, which ended 40 years of ownership by General Motors, Millbrook’s value proposition was in need of a complete overhaul. A new PR strategy was required to accurately portray its expertise, offering and independence to new and existing audiences.The purchase of Finland based, Test World added another string to Millbrook’s bow and a further strand to the required PR activity.

The Work

We established strong relationships with journalists and editors within the industries Millbrook was working, helping to make it the ‘go to’ organisation for technical expertise and opinions on everything from portable emissions measurement systems to crash testing.

With a close eye on the PR plan, we identified opportunities to increase Millbrook’s exposure, through media visits and events.

We placed Millbrook’s experts in front of many a film crew and teased out specialist knowledge from its engineers.

And we made it our job to know everything there was to know about the vast range of services provided by Millbrook, and became an integral part of its internal team. This enabled us to passionately promote its expertise throughout the industry’s media.

The Difference

After we took over from the incumbent PR agency, Millbrook quickly saw an increase in the quality and quantity of media coverage.

After just four months of working with Millbrook, we had the BBC on site for the first time in eight years. We subsequently had on-site interviews with the BBC and ITV every year for four years; making a total of 14

broadcast interviews within four years or at a rate of a little less than one per quarter.

In the same period, we achieved more than 550 pieces of print coverage, including in national press, industry leading publications, both UK and international and local/regional business press.

The total coverage value over four years was just shy of £2million in Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE).

“Interdirect’s PR team worked closely with our in-house marketing department to raise the profile of Millbrook’s expertise within our core media. Their close relationship with regional broadcast news enabled us to secure a high level of television coverage, particularly at key industry events, including the Low Carbon Vehicle show and DVD, which are both hosted at Millbrook.”

Rob Smettem, Head of External Affairs, Millbrook

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