• Wayne Sullivan, head chef at The Old Stocks Inn, on MasterChef


James Ashe, Managing Partner

James Ashe, Managing Partner

Making a MasterChef Of Wayne Sullivan for The Old Stocks Inn

When we found out that The Old Stocks Inn’s head chef was making his debut appearance on MasterChef: The Professionals, we got straight to work to raise the profile of the hotel in the local area and beyond.

TV exposure is a dream for any business, but an appearance on a show like MasterChef: The Professionals for a boutique hotel like The Old Stocks Inn is a golden opportunity. Talented head chef Wayne Sullivan made it all the way to the semi-finals, and we wanted to tap into the national exposure that Wayne was getting to ensure that local people were following the story and heading off to visit The Old Stocks Inn.

On the announcement of Wayne’s appearance, we achieved extensive coverage across the region’s major newspapers and lifestyle magazines – the Gloucestershire Echo, GL Magazine, the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard and the Cotswold Journal – and ensured all outlets were keeping up the coverage as he progressed throughout the competition with articles in the paper, online blog posts and social media updates.

In particular, Gloucestershire Live, the online arm of the Gloucestershire Echo and GL Magazine, are always looking for great content that they can feature on the site, and we know that they love to get out and about. So we invited them to come over to The Old Stocks and watch one of Wayne’s knockout week episodes live with him at the hotel.

The site liveblogged the experience from the hotel’s private dining room, joined by Wayne and several members of The Old Stocks team, before heading to Facebook Live for a Q&A session with Wayne. On the night, the video was watched by over 2,500 people, with views steadily climbing over the week to a total of 3,100 people and counting.

Although we got some fantastic print and online coverage, we weren’t content with just that, so we set out on the hunt for some great radio coverage as well. Despite the fact that MasterChef is a BBC show, BBC Radio Gloucestershire were unaware of Wayne’s involvement until we got in touch with afternoon show host Nicky Price, who was keen to feature Wayne on the air throughout his journey.

As well as chatting Wayne on the phone and in the studio to chat about his experiences each week, Nicky paid a visit to Stow itself and broadcast her show live from The Old Stocks Inn on the day of Wayne’s semi-final. Each show went out to 86,000 listeners, with lots of them cheering Wayne on or asking him questions for yet another Facebook Live session!

By incorporating so many different outlets and channels into our PR strategy, we were able to introduce The Old Stocks Inn to thousands of people in the local area, who might not have known about the hotel, and boosted the profile of their growing restaurant business – not to mention, we learned plenty of top cooking techniques just in time for Christmas!

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# PR, MasterChef, The Old Stocks Inn, Wayne Sullivan