Raising the profile of an ambitious building materials supplier brand to support national expansion

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We hired Midnight to help us take our business to the next level. The team regularly secures excellent press coverage for us, and they are a joy to work with – friendly, professional and with great journalist contacts. Their ability to take what I say and turn it into something media-friendly is hugely appreciated! They are also a trusted business partner – the team often speak to our clients directly to get information for case studies and provide expert advice and consultancy to us on an ongoing basis.

Tony HobbsManaging Director, Southern Sheeting

The challenge

How Midnight helped Southern Sheeting prepare to go national with a PR and content campaign.

Partnering with great businesses to showcase their team and the work they do gives us great joy.

One success story we love to share is Southern Sheeting, a family-run building materials supplier from East Grinstead. When we started working with the Southern Sheeting team back in 2020, the company was creating some seriously ambitious plans for growth and was already in the process of expanding its team. The company brought us in to raise the profile of the brand and position it as a go-to supplier for roofing, cladding and building materials among its target audiences in South East England. This initial campaign was just the start of our work together as the company looked beyond the region to fix its gaze on establishing Southern Sheeting as a national brand.

How Midnight met the challenge

When we came onboard the company was looking to develop a new website and needed PR support to communicate its messaging to the broader market and build brand awareness across its audience. The ultimate goal was national recognition in support of its expansion plans. 

First, our goal was to ensure Southern Sheeting was gaining the attention of its four key audiences in the region, including major contractors, roofers, builders and serious DIYers – a blend of B2B and consumer audiences. 

Although the brand was well-established after 40 years and already had good brand awareness locally, we felt we could do more. Together, we wanted to ensure all potential customers had Southern Sheeting in their minds when they thought “building materials”.

Our strategy to hit every audience was launching a profile-raising PR and content campaign designed to deliver content for the new website and support Southern Sheeting’s ambitious growth plans. 

Building awareness and visibility through the trade was achieved with a monthly press release campaign that kept the brand firmly in front of trade audiences with news of appointments, new clients, community activity and awards. We flexed our copywriting skills by producing and publishing regular advice-led content on the Southern Sheeting website as well as case studies to improve search results and increase organic traffic, working in partnership with the marketing team and search agency. 

Our team secured media partnerships and regular feature contributions, articles and case studies placed in target publications. To drive consumer interest, we launched an annual consumer survey regarding trends in DIY and home improvement that we were then able to leverage for press coverage. We also created a research paper to be hosted on the website.

National coverage and a billion-strong audience

Our campaign to establish Southern Sheeting as the go-to brand among audiences achieved its goals alongside securing national coverage to establish it as a national player in its sector.

In 2021 as part of the campaign, we created 126 items of coverage with a total audience reach of one billion. As well as national coverage in the Daily Mirror, The Sun and Daily Star, our team secured features in leading trade publications for each audience, including Roofing Today, Builders’ Merchants News and Premier Construction News.

Acting as interim social media managers for the expanding marketing team, we also helped to significantly grow Southern Sheeting’s social audiences. On Twitter, we increased followers by almost 3,000%, Instagram by 356% and LinkedIn by 150%.

As the company embarked on the journey of national expansion, Midnight has been right by its side, delivering campaigns to drive awareness and publicity about the brand. Having checked off the initial campaign goals and established its prime positioning in the south east, Southern Sheeting has now moved its sights to the rest of the UK with the launch of its Midlands branch. 

Following concerted team efforts from the in-house sales and marketing teams, external search agency and Midnight, the company has achieved record sales and a 34% increase in turnover.

Support the brand on its growth journey

Our relationship with Southern Sheeting goes beyond what many consider a traditional PR-client relationship. We’ve been there alongside the Southern Sheeting team as its marketing function has grown and its needs have evolved. We love stepping into the role of a trusted PR partner, helping provide strategic guidance in support of the business’ wider objectives. And our working relationship is indicative of this.

With the success of our social media campaigns, it was a natural move for the company to bring social media in-house as part of its expanded marketing team. We anticipated the shift as the team had shared their long-term vision and in doing so, we were able to fully support the transition. We provided the team member with a bespoke social media toolkit tailored to Southern Sheeting and one-on-one training to embed our experience in delivering social media for the brand so they could hit the ground running. 

Your objectives are our objectives and we align our activity to what your business needs.

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