“The programme we run for Dickies Workwear is a great example of planned and opportunistic PR and social activity. We are very proud of the strategy we have developed to support Dickies Workwear to reach a younger target audience.”

Sarah Woodhouse, Director, AMBITIOUS


Social Media, Media Relations, Integrated Communications


Global brand Dickies Workwear has been clothing tradespeople in all kinds of working environments since it first launched in 1922. Owned by multinational clothing and footwear company, VF Corporation, Dickies creates products that meet the practical demands of today’s tradespeople, while helping them to cultivate a professional, modern image.

AMBITIOUS works with strategic partner, saintnicks, on an integrated marketing brief for Dickies Workwear. Now embarking on the third year of our relationship with the client, our focus is to manage PR and social media activity.

We were bought on board by a Marketing Director who believed PR and social could be more effective for Dickies. Our brief was to first establish a hard-working press office and to boost Dickies’ presence on Facebook and Twitter before finding new routes to reach our target audience. Our challenge was to do this while keeping multiple stakeholders in the company happy, including the traditional sales and ecommerce team.

In year one, our focus was on consolidating and building awareness of the brand’s core social channels with a real focus on community management and encouraging community engagement through a campaign-led approach. We also started a brand ambassador scheme, identifying micro-influencers from the trades and getting them to trial Dickies Workwear via social.

We rebuilt the brand’s relationships with the sector media, delivering regular feature contributions plus thought leadership pieces and issuing newsworthy press releases – exceeding our targets for securing media coverage.

In year two we built on these foundations and continued social community management, adding Instagram to the brand’s channels and growing the number of ambassadors.
We continued to manage a high media profile for Dickies, plus advised on media buying and helped to further amplify the brand’s presence at trade events.

Highlights included:

  • Negotiated and delivered support for DIY SOS, including the provision of clothing for the recent Grenfell Special
  • Launched the ‘Be a Dickies Model’ campaign, resulting in over 60 applications from ‘real’ tradespeople across the country – some of whom have been selected to model Dickies clothing in upcoming advertising activity
  • Maintained high profile media coverage, including a cover story in Professional Heating and Plumbing Installer on what influences modern workwear, plus advice pieces on clothing and footwear in a range of target trade publications

In order to support the company’s goal to build relationships with the next generation of tradespeople we have also initiated and managed a number of partnerships and campaigns, including:

  • Negotiating and delivering a partnership with SkillBuild, including sponsorship of the National Final at WorldSkillsUK LIVE 2018 where Dickies provided clothing for contestants and judges
  • Negotiating and delivering a college partnership programme – piloted in a local college and about to be rolled out to selected colleges across the UK
  • Added Instagram into the social media mix
  • Grown social channels by 506% on Twitter in first six months and then 70% in 2018; and on Facebook by 95% in first six months and then 322% in 2018.
  • Exceeded our press coverage target in 2018 by nearly 100%
  • Providing consultancy to other markets seeking to emulate the SkillBuild / WorldSkills activity (Germany & France)
  • Negotiated important third party relationships for Dickies.