ABACUS DEVELOPMENT CO.
Abacus Development Co., the developers of the R2-billion Baywest Mall on the outskirts of Nelson Mandela Bay, required a strategic online and offline communications plan for the mammoth project. Billed as the largest mall in the Eastern Cape at the time, it needed the buy-in of many key stakeholders: developers, community members, the municipality, government, environmental activists, and the shopping public at large.
Three years prior to the mall’s opening in 2015, GNL executed a regional and national media public relations campaign. We generated positive media exposure about the mall and its effects on the community, while simultaneously countering negative publicity about the development’s ecological effects. The return on investment of this for the client exceeded 2,000% (* based on the value of the achieved media exposure from 2013 to 2016).
GNL also successfully launched the mall’s social media presence and organically (without paid advertising) grew its Facebook page to over 20,000 followers by the time it opened its doors.
For three years following the mall’s opening, GNL managed Baywest’s social media presence (posts reached, on average, over 5 million newsfeeds per year). GNL created engaging content and ensured that comments and queries were responded to timeously, professionally, and were flagged with the relevant customer service member when necessary.
GNL ran an extensive brand awareness campaign to ensure the community buy-in and support of our development of the Eastern Cape’s largest shopping and entertainment centre, Baywest Mall. This spanned more than four years, covering the ground-breaking phase through to the operational phase of the complex. During the period, GNL landed positive exposure of the development in regional and national news titles, while organically growing an active social media following.
– David Ludditt, Abacus Development Company CEO (Baywest developers)