We recently made our national television debut on the ITV news, where as a small business owner I was asked to comment on the HUGE energy profits that had been announced by British Gas (a whopping £969m, +889% 🤯).
Click here to view our appearance (in the clip from 2.40).
I wanted to share with you the behind the scenes of how we were chosen to be featured on ITV news, what happened on the day they came to film, and what effect it had on visitors to our website. It was a great piece of free PR for our small business.
The news feature:
Here’s what I had to say:
🔥 our energy price has increased by +148% since last year
🔥 that equates to us spending more than £1000 per month on energy than we’d forecasted
🔥 it’s also led to significant increases in cost of our raw materials
🔥 we increased our prices by an average of 5-10% earlier this year to go a little way to help cover these costs but felt it was unfair to our customers to increase them more than this
🔥 so the majority of the cost increase has had to be absorbed by the business, ultimately meaning we are not able to invest in growing our business and employing more people.
It feels unethical that the energy firms are allowed to make such huge profits while small businesses and the general public are struggling so much with high cost increases 😞
Behind the scenes:
So how did we get featured? I’m signed up to receive regular journalist alerts (through Response Source) and on the Wednesday I saw an alert from ITV news looking for a visual business that had been experiencing high energy bill increases, who’d be willing to be filmed the next day and be interviewed on energy costs.
I replied immediately with the information requested plus a few photos showing more about the brand and the business. I made sure the images showed the visual beauty of our jams and our factory so that the journalist could picture how their film could look. And also my contact details so they could get in touch!
I got a call within a couple of hours from ITV, asking a few questions, and we were confirmed to be featured at 5pm. Just in time for me to let the jam team know that there will be a camera crew visiting!
On the day:
Luke the lovely ITN camera man turned up at 11.30am and promptly told me they were hoping to get us on the news at 1.30pm! I couldn’t believe things moved so fast in newsland.
So after a quick tour of the factory we went straight into the kitchen to video the jam making process. We were doing a full day of Passionfruit Preserve production so he had the opportunity to film the cooking, jarring and labelling all within the space of half an hour.
Then it was down to interview. Finding a good space in the warehouse Luke set up the cameras and asked me a list of questions that the production team had sent him while I sat on a pallet of jam. I answered as best I could and then that was it! By 12.20pm Luke was sat in his van outside downloading everything and sending it to the team in London who would put it together for the news report at 1.30pm.
The energy story was the top story featured at 1.30pm, 6.30pm and 10pm. There were some great shots of the jam factory and the team, and I hope I came across ok!
What did it mean for us?
Our brand was clearly visible on screen so I was hoping we’d get some more hits to our website. And we did!
A normal Thursday see’s us getting around 300 website sessions, whereas the day we were featured saw us getting 1122, an increase of almost 300%.
We saw the biggest increase in website users on the 6.30pm news, where we had over 400 people online at once. We were also featured on the 1.30pm news and 10pm news, which both saw spikes online.
We didn’t see a huge sales jump, maybe a few extra orders than usual, but we did see an increase in our newsletter sign ups by of more than 50 extra people that day, compared to a normal day. Hopefully at some point in the future some of these new Jam Fam members will covert to customers.
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Click here to sign up here to join our Jam Fam. We’ll share with you what’s happening in our jam factory, new flavours, and every month I write an email sharing small business insights, projects I’m working on, and longer term business planning.