Wake-up call for entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs are always busy working, day and night. During the day, they work flat out to please their customers, but once in bed, they start worrying about their business. To support them, we launched 'The Night of the Entrepreneur'. Fittingly, this was held the night before the Business Association UNIZO’s 'Day of the Entrepreneur'. During this night, every entrepreneur who was unable to get to sleep was allowed to call a lawyer for free legal advice. Entrepreneurs were therefore able to stop worrying about the legal aspects of their business.
Free consultations could be booked with solicitors via http://www.nachtvandeondernemer.org.
What we did.
Our PR objectives were twofold. The Flemish Bar Council wanted to focus more specifically on entrepreneurs who often consult a solicitor when it is too late. This action was intended as an offbeat approach to raise entrepreneurs’ awareness, and to demonstrate that a pre-emptive consultation with a solicitor can prevent a great deal of worrying and sleepless nights. Secondly, we needed to ensure that sufficient focus fell on the Night of the Entrepreneur itself.
In order to grab a strong headline in the press, we coined the phrase ‘Entrepreneurs are losing sleep over their business’. This included a survey, conducted in collaboration with the research centre of UNIZO, the Belgian Association of Independent Entrepreneurs, designed to map out the sleep patterns of entrepreneurs. We went in search of the answers to questions such as: Are entrepreneurs losing sleep over their business? How often do they lose sleep? What causes them sleepless nights? What are the most common legal problems?
The results were striking. For example, it appears that no less than 86% of entrepreneurs occasionally lose sleep over their business. For 22%, this even occurs several times per week. This provided us with sufficient strong material with which both to kick off our press communications, and to pitch the necessary interviews on the topic with the spokesperson of the Flemish Bar Council, in combination with several strong entrepreneurs who were prepared to tell their personal story to the press.
To that end, we contacted two female entrepreneurs of the year: a remarkable start-up entrepreneur and the CEO of one of the largest media companies in the country, whose name starts with STU and ends with DIO100.
What we got.
A report on VTM news, an extensive report in the VRT programme ‘De Nieuwe Markt’, full-page articles in virtually all Flemish daily newspapers, radio interviews on the key current affairs programmes, and extensive online coverage.
The Night of the Entrepreneur was clearly mentioned in every article. But more importantly, the personal, recognisable testimonies of successful entrepreneurs helped to raise awareness and prompted entrepreneurs to reflect on their own situations.