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Cracking the social media/press puzzle for a new Bolton attraction

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The challenge

Crackit is a brand new challenge experience housed in a 10,000 square foot building in Bolton, featuring 36 different puzzle rooms designed for groups of up to 6 people to try and ‘crack’ the puzzle.

Three years in the making, the business was now ready to start taking bookings, and we were brought on board to promote the launch. This gave us our own puzzle to solve – how to secure impactful press coverage with local media to help encourage bookings at Crackit?

The solution

We knew that having a spokesperson to speak to the media would be a key element of our strategy, but we had no idea that Crackit would have someone so ideal up their sleeve…

Along came ‘Chief Gamesmaster’ Mike, complete with leopard print suit and a seriously in-depth knowledge of all things puzzle related. We quickly saw what a great spokesperson Mike could be – a chatty, larger than life character with a genuine passion for his work, and as it turned out, a really interesting story to tell.

Mike had worked in call centres for his entire career, whilst dedicating his spare time to his true passion – puzzles. With TV appearances on quiz shows including The Chase, 15-1, Perfection, Identity and Britain’s Best Brain, and so many board games at his home in Warrington (owning around 600 in total) that he has had to put some into storage, Mike is a self-confessed ‘puzzle fiend’.

When the owners of Crackit spotted Mike on TV, they immediately saw his potential as the perfect puzzle designer, and got in touch to offer him a role. It was a dream job for Mike, and quite a way to be headhunted!

People are fascinated by stories about other people, so the opportunity to explore the human side of a business can be especially valuable. Mike’s story brought an authentic human interest angle to the launch of Crackit, giving the story a feelgood factor that set it apart from other business news.

A winning result

With a strong news hook and a great spokesperson in place, we issued a press release, putting Mike at the heart of the story and including some strong images of him in situ at Crackit.

This was picked up by key local media, including Manchester Evening News and Warrington Guardian Chatting to Mike and knowing his TV experience, it was clear he’d be an ace at press interviews, so we were very confident in putting him forward to speak to journalists about Crackit.

This became particularly useful when BBC Radio Manchester expressed an interest, so Mike headed over to their studios at Media City to chat with presenter Connor Philips, live on air. Mike was such a natural behind the microphone, we’re sure you’ll be hearing from our winning Gamesmaster on the airwaves again soon! 


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