Client Event Like ‘Proper’ Journalism

Persimmon Homes discover ancient Roman Temple during construction.

Agency life is always varied, but a client’s discovery of an ancient Roman Temple proved a step back in time for account manager Sam Taylor to her days as a journalist.

Sam helped Persimmon Homes celebrate the unveiling of reconstructed foundations of the 2,000-year-old temple. The temple was discovered by the housebuilder during construction of their Watling Place development in Sittingbourne, Kent.

The temple base was part of a late-Iron Age and Roman industrial settlement. When uncovered by archaeologists – it was found in an exceptional state of preservation.

A team of 30 archaeologists spent more than a year working on the excavated Roman small town, describing it as ‘one of the most significant sites’ in Kent and of national importance.

Sam organised an official unveiling of the reconstruction project attended by The Mayor & Mayoress of Swale, parish and district councillors, members of Newington History Group and Swale & Thames Archaeological Society, and senior staff from Persimmon.

Official Unveiling Event of Roman Temple

Refreshments were laid on at the village hall while children from Newington Primary School entertained everyone with a Roman song. Speeches were then made before the official ribbon cutting ceremony – all watched by print, online and broadcast press.

PR Dream:

When asked about the unveiling of the Roman Temple, Sam described it as “a dream” for a PR professional.

“The part of PR I love the most is storytelling because it never fails to excite the journalist in me. As most PR professionals know, sometimes the ‘story’ a client wants you to share isn’t the headline news they think!

“But, this though was different, this was a ‘proper’ news story: ‘Housebuilder saves 2,000-year-old Roman Temple’. I was blown away when I visited the site and saw the reconstruction for myself.

“Communicating such a great story was a dream. Sue Flipping of Newington History Group said that what Persimmon had done was ‘both extraordinary and visionary’. She said she hoped other developers would follow Persimmon’s ‘enlightened approach’ – you couldn’t make up quotes as good as that for a client!”