UK coach company megabus.com chose to open its first base on the European continent in Brussels. We were chosen to introduce the company in the Belgian media (B2B travel but also mainpress to attract customers directly). Megabus.com works on the low cost model, with tickets as from 1€ to travel all across Europe. The challenge was to rise megabus’ brand awareness and create a customer database.
The first communication activity consisted in announcing the launch of the travel services on the European continent in 2012, through the distribution of a press release followed by a series of interviews of megabus.com’s key people.
In 2014, other press activities were organized for the opening of the first continental base. INSTICOM organized a media briefing in Brussels, distributed a press release and a press map, and set up interviews with key media to present megabus.com’s strategy.
As from 2014, INSTICOM regularly distributed press releases (±1,5/month) announcing the success of the coach company and maintained relations with different stakeholders; travelers, politicians, local authorities, national association of coach operators, to increase positive perception of travelling by coach and to urge for the need of building a road station in Brussels. To reach the customers directly, we created 2 Facebook pages (French + Dutch) that we managed from A to Z: creation of messages, posting plan, creating videos and posting pictures, organizing contests, etc. We also monitored the news on a daily basis and created content and messages according to public services strikes, important delays in airports, etc.
We also prepared a crisis communication plan with megabus.com to react quickly to any situation: accident, delay, strikes, etc.
Megabus.com quickly belonged to the top players in the travel industry in Belgium. Their brand awareness raised instantly thanks to a large and regular press coverage. The start of megabus.com’s activities in Belgium changed the perception of coach travel: greener than planes, safer and cheaper than travelling by car, etc.
About 20 articles appeared in the media each month (B2B and B2C). About 12.000 fans subscribed to the Facebook page in the first 3 months.
Megabus.com was bought by competitor Flixbus in 2016 and was rebranded.