William Purves

Building awareness
and trust through PR

The Challenge:

Family-run William Purves, Scotland’s largest independent funeral director, is a premier provider of funeral services with very strong customer loyalty and extremely high satisfaction levels. However, it was suffering from low awareness. It was therefore having difficulty differentiating itself from the lower-cost alternatives which dominated the Edinburgh market.

Operating in a very competitive space, William Purves needed to:
• Reaffirm its position as a premium funeral service provider
• Increase its profile vs its competitors
• Build trust in premium funeral directors and dispel myths surrounding the true cost of funerals
• Take ownership and encourage people to open up the conversation around death, dying and bereavement.

The Solution:

Represent conducted extensive research into William Purves, its target market groups and the funeral market generally, before devising a PR strategy that was:

  • Insight driven
  • Opinion-led
  • Reactive to the news agenda, including during Covid-19.

Specific campaigns included:

  • What will happen to your digital legacy when you die?
  • Why it makes sense to plan for your funeral
  • How coronavirus lockdown will affect Scottish funerals
  • Why we need transparency in funeral pricing
  • The challenges of running a family business
  • Why more people are going for greener funerals
  • Funeral directors ”should not be responsible” for policing mourner numbers
  • Local funeral directors ask for mark of respect for hearses during lockdown
  • Opening up the conversation about dying

The Impact:

  • Over 100 pieces of tier one media coverage including in The Herald, The Scotsman, Edinburgh Evening News, The Times Scotland, The Guardian, BBC Scotland, BBC Scotland Radio and STV

“Represent understood our values, our USPs, as well as our marketing challenges before devising a PR strategy that delivered both in terms of profile & education. High levels of empathy are measured with appreciation of the delicate balance between our commercial goal to build awareness v real grief experienced by our families. The team is proactive, supportive & has achieved fantastic results. They are an extension of our team and I would recommend them as an agency partner.”

– Tania Gillespie, marketing manager at William Purves
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