Moving Offices: Is it a Positive PR Decision?

When moving offices, your company’s PR is probably one of the last things on your mind. It’s likely that gaining more space and improving facilities for an affordable price is a more pressing concern. However, it is always a good idea to consider the repercussions of any office relocations, as you may end up doing more harm than good.

Here we take a look at a few instances where an office relocation has been good and bad for a company’s reputation, plus how we can help you make a move for your business that has a positive outcome.

When Office Moves Go Wrong

The BBC ‘Lost its Marbles’ when it Moved to Manchester

One of the best examples of bad PR around an office location centres around the public broadcasting company The BBC.
In an article by The Guardian, actor and comedian John Sessions criticised the move north by saying,

“If the brass at the BBC hadn’t lost their marbles and decided to set the BBC in Salford, there might be a bit more money going around,” said Sessions. “It puts your job under much more pressure than it should have to be."

“I don’t want to sound like some whinging old luvvie but the management culture at the BBC has become so pervasive and so money monopolising that we are all doing these things under ridiculous circumstances. It’s an important point and it needs to be made.”

Sessions claims there is now less money for programme making as it has been wasted because those in power are “obsessed with building buildings”. Whether this was a waste or not is a matter of opinion, however one thing is for sure, the new purpose-built MediaCityUk in Salford Quays wasn’t cheap. The three main buildings have a lifetime move cost of just under £1billion. And The BBC has also been highly criticised by the National Audit Office for spending £24 million in relocation costs.  

Burger King Make Tax Dodge to Canada

When the burger chain announced its purchase of Canadian coffee and doughnuts chain Tim Hortons back in 2014 it was a shrewd business deal for the worldwide company. It cost $11.4 billion (£8 billion) and meant that Burger King would combine its official headquarters and move to Canada, something many have speculated to be an elaborate tax dodge.

This move would mean the company was technically no longer a US organisation and corporate taxation on the company would be changed. Burger King denied the issue, of course, stating ‘Burger King is expected to save only a little, if any, on taxes through the so-called corporate inversion.’

The Government Gets it Wrong Too

It was reported in 2012 that the Cabinet Minister in charge of cutting waste expenditure at Whitehall had spent £8.5million renovating the headquarters of his own department. In just two years, Francis Maude managed to spend the huge figure which has been deemed as a “ludicrous waste of taxpayers’ money”. An embarrassing PR situation, don’t you think?

So, what was the money spent on? Well, partially it went on improving the building’s green credentials, installing installation, light sensors and double glazing. However, much was spent on what many have described as ‘lavish’ décor.

Great PR Moves by UK Businesses

When done correctly, an office relocation or refurbishment can mean huge things for your business’ reputation and even gain you nationwide press coverage. Rentalcars.com is the perfect example of this. 

Rentalcars.com Premises Deemed Coolest Office in Britain

At the beginning of 2015, Rentalcars.com had outgrown their headquarters and therefore, invested in an additional new building. Both buildings were then renovated in a scheme that cost nearly £5 million in total to provide staff with an open-air cinema, swings and pool table, among much more.  


 

Unsurprisingly, the refurb gained a lot of attention, even securing an article in The Daily Mail

Twickenham England HQ Likened to the Starship Enterprise

Back in 2013, when England Rugby’s home, Twickenham Stadium, got a makeover it was all over the press. With its bold red and white design and rose adorned changing room door it effectively reflected the team’s branding. With its bright strip-lighting and original 1930s baths, it brought old and new together seamlessly to show that the team is happy to move with the times, but will not forget where it’s been.

The Rugby World Union donated £70 million to the refurbishment ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, a large bulk of which was spent on the 40 sq. ft. changing room. Other design features include personalised cubicles with metallic name plaques and a wall of honour, listing every England player to have played for their country. Plasma screens adorn nearly every wall, there’s an indoor warm-up track and even motivational messages painted across the walls.

The makeover was a huge success for the club and the union, especially thanks to its sympathetic upcycling of classic elements. The Daily Mail said ‘history meets modernity in every corner’ and ‘At first sight, it looks like a cross between the Starship Enterprise and a luxury spa […]. Welcome to Stuart Lancaster’s lair, the new home of rugby.’ 

Let Office Image Help with Your Move

At Office Image, we’ve been helping businesses in Wales and the West transform their premises for over 35 years. In this time, we have become interior specialists who offer turnkey solutions for your every design need.

Our designers are trained at working to budgets of all sizes and can help you design the ideal business premises for your company, whether that be an outlandish office that’s press-worthy or a makeover on a new start-up businesses’ office on a strict budget.
Give us a call on 02920 368585 to arrange an initial consultation and discuss your office design requirements today, or view our Office Design Services page to get more of an idea of how we can help you.

Read more:

What Questions Should You Ask Your Office Designers?

An Office Relocation Checklist

Industry Themed Office Interior Design


(image: University of Salford Press under CC BY 2.0 and England Rugby’s Facebook page)

Getting in Touch.

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