Smiling Grape

The challenge

Smiling Grape Adventure tours is a travel company that specialises in ‘quirky imbibing and trekking adventures around the world’ and is run by Matt Ellis, owner of The Smiling Grape wine merchant in the market town of St Neots in Cambridgeshire. With world travel and hospitality restricted during the pandemic things were a little quiet, so Matt wanted to do something that grabbed people’s attention to celebrate the value of pubs within society and promote his next series of tours.

The solution

Matt discovered that whilst there was a Guinness World Record for the most pubs visited in 24 hours by a group, there wasn’t a similar record for an individual. He promptly set about organising a route across Cambridgeshire and it was all systems go.

Kate designed a simple plan for media awareness amongst the target audience and developed the story of the pub crawl, which included the key messages of praising the role of British pubs in our local communities, promoting future tours with Smiling Grape, and emphasising the need to drink responsibly. Even when on a tour of 51 pubs!

Local media were given advance notice of the event for planning purposes and invited to join Matt along his route. The Mayor of St Neots, Cllr Stephen Ferguson, was asked to welcome Matt into the last pub and when the photographer was unable to attend, we stepped in to record the moment that the World Record was clinched.

The following morning, details of the pub crawl were shared with a wider media audience and individual requests for interviews were carried out by Matt for the rest of the week.

The results

A small event organised and completed by one person, overseen by a handful of local people acting as witnesses, went viral.

Coverage was achieved in all the main target markets – local, national, and the hospitality industry – but the story circulated worldwide for many weeks after. From live interviews on local radio, acknowledgement of the feat on regional TV and the support of BBC online, the compelling story was soon covered by The Daily Mirror, LadBible, The Daily Star, The Sun, MSN and Yahoo as well as a host of overseas news services. Golf Digest even named Matt as their athlete of the week for his achievement!

And all of this added up to:

  • Imagery shared around the world
  • Over 45 pieces of news coverage being recorded
  • A reach of over 25 million people worldwide
  • Promotional messaging returning a massive return on investment of 16,667%

If you’re interested in following in Matt’s footsteps – check out for details of his next tours or contact Kate to discuss your PR opportunities.