How to Get Good Publicity

We’ve managed to get some pretty good media coverage in Swindon to promote the Swindon Workplace Cycle Challenge.


Brunel FM covered us three times a day over the two weeks of the Challenge at 8:40am, 12:40pm and 5:40pm. They gave coverage such as this brief radio update.

They have also done four interviews with us so far including this radio interview that went to air the day after the Challenge:

So how did we get this pretty sweet deal?

  1. Add value to their business – We were able to offer them something new and Swindon specific to talk about which helps keep their radio shows fresh, interesting and relevant to their audience. The Swindon Challenged involved 38 organisations which collectively employ over 25,000 people in Swindon. We informally gave them exclusivity for radio coverage of the Challenge. We put their logo on the website. We encouraged Challenge participants to tune in to Brunel FM and listen to updates on how the Challenge is going.
  2. Make it easy – We emailed them updates that they could easily read out on air. We gave them human interest stories.


Similar lessons can be learned when working with newspapers. We’ve had three articles in the Swindon Advertiser (the main local paper in Swindon) including this article.

  1. Add value to their business – The Challenge is a relevant story to many of their readers (17% of Swindon’s population was employed by the 38 organisations involved)
  2. We wrote good media releases with assistance from the CTC that could easily be turned into good newspaper articles.
  3. We took interesting photos and sent these to the paper (rather than them having to send a photographer out).  Interesting photos help make the paper more interesting to readers.

Newspapers often have a policy of not publishing articles based on press releases unless you spend some money with them on advertising space. So the CTC did purchase an advert space to promote the Challenge on and in return the paper wrote an article on the Challenge.

That might seem a little greedy of newspapers to operate like that, but the ad didn’t cost a great deal and they’ve continued to publish all our subsequent press releases without us needing to purchase any further ad space.

In Summary

Keep in mind that it’s an exchange when working with the media. They can help add value to your business if you can help add value to theirs.

Postive Feedback – It always feels good

Below is some of the feedback we’ve received from participants who took part in the Swindon Workplace Cycle Challenge:

Hi Tom

It is a really good a idea to get people cycling. I hadn’t cycled for
over a year, but got on my bike and really enjoyed it and thought that I
should do it more often. Thank you for the cycling map, I will
certainly be doing more recreational cycling.

Many thanks




I used to ride everywhere when I lived back in Somerset but since moving to Swindon I haven’t rode my bike! I moved to North swindon and saw how many cycle paths there are and decided to buy a new bike. I find cycling around north swindon a lot quicker that driving the car.

I use the 45 cycle route to visit the in-laws in Lawns 🙂



Hi Thomas,

Brilliant effort so far, well done with the organisation of this event, it’s been great fun so far……I attempted to get a colleague onto my bike for a ride today but I couldn’t get the saddle low enough (due to the light bracket) so it’s a few adjustments tonight at home and attempt 2 will be completed and accomplished tomorrow.

Best Regards


Hi Thomas,

Mission accomplished ! ……. now onto my next target.



Hi Tom

I have got Dawn Butcher (registered yesterday) on her bike. She hasn’t cycled for at least a year.

We’ve got the staff here really buzzing, I’m currently working on others that haven’t used their bikes in years too, so watch this space!



I haven’t ridden my bike in well over a year so it was great to get back in the saddle! Luckily I’m not too saddle sore. Anyway, I’m planning on riding my bike a lot more now the weather has perked up.



Dear Thomas,
I`m not saying that it wasn’t fun to get back on my bike but I
am now the proud owner of a Gel Seat, a sore bum and 2 kids that didn`t
know I could ride a bike.
Fabulous work your doning. Well done


Hi Thomas
I have entered the Cycle Challenge and did my first ride to work today. Will keep it up for the rest of the week.
I also wanted to be entered for persuading my partner to cycle. Tonight after work, we will go for a cycle – it will be the first time he has been on a bike for TWENTY years and what’s more, I bought him the bike last week so that we can cycle to work together (we work in the same building, otherwise, we car share).
Will keep up to date as to how long we go for tonight in my update tomorrow.
Many thanks


Thank you for the challenge that started me riding my bike, it as been wonderful and i definitely carry on doing it
thank you



Hi Tom,

Just wanted to congratulate you on the challenge. It has been really motivating and great fun! It would be really good to expand this type of scheme maybe over longer periods or even just within an organisation (like ours!). Please keep me informed of what you are doing, future plans etc. as I’d be really interested to see how it evolves.

Best regards,


I love reading this type of feedback. Evaluations and statistics can give you the hard facts to say that a programme works, but it’s these kind of comments that bring this data, and the Challenge itself, to life.

Read more feedback here