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Tasked with filling The Royal Albert Hall on 20 May 2010 for Bafunny Bafunny, the show featuring eight of South Africa’s top stand-up comedians, North & South PR leveraged its strong South African connections in London.

“By forming media and business partnerships within the South African community we had a packed show", says Carmel Suthons of North & South PR, London.

When the UK media did not respond to media releases Suthons switched to the local “Saffa bushwire” to spread the word.  “There was a strong audience appeal to expat South Africans. They related to the humour and welcomed the show as a way of connecting to the excitement and patriotism around South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup”, she says.

The major promotional thrust was done through South African companies, organisations and websites which North & South PR accessed through its networks.  “The South African community, although great in number, is not a unified market. It operates in very different spheres, so it was a matter of getting to all these various groups”, Suthons says. 

She formed partnerships with UK-based South African targeted media and social networking websites to spread the word. This integrated approach resulted in multiple press articles and a high awareness amongst the target market. In addition to local comedy lovers, South African businesses in London took a large number of seats, jumping at the opportunity to treat staff and clients to a South African flavoured start to the world’s soccer fever.

It was initially a concern when the UK media had no interest in the event. “UK journalists understand the interests of their huge readerships to a tee and in this case didn’t respond to news about an event they regarded as having niche appeal. Because we had a good feel for what was going on we moved into different ways of reaching our target market. Ultimately it was about knowing the right people with whom to start and then drive the publicity campaign”, she says.

The South African community responded with great enthusiasm and the magnificent venue was filled with over 3,000 cheering Saffas!