Chamber of Commerce – Parking Charges

We devised and delivered this media relations and public affairs campaign, initially to secure one hour free parking in a town centre, so as to level the pitch with out-of-town shopping centres that provide free parking.

The strategy included a sustained media relations campaign, a forensic analysis of the revenue and costs of paid parking through triangulating local authority budgets, books, and FOI disclosures, and even an appearance before a Joint Oireachtas Committee. We were active on social media and got 6,000 signatures on a petition.

The narrative of ‘six rules, six charges, six towns’ really caught the attention of local newspapers and radio stations. So too did a steady stream of press releases about high costs and low revenues, and the negative impact of parking charges on small shops in a town centre that was experiencing the full force of the recession.

The success of the campaign was that it stopped the County Council hiking parking charges to €1 per hour in all towns, ensured the existing €0.60 hourly charge remained in the target town, and secured the 10-minute grace for people ‘nipping in and out’ of shops in the town centre. It also positioned the client as a partner of the County Council and has got both working together. This has led to big improvements in the town’s fabric.