Creating an appetite to explore England
From iconic locations to major events, this year we focused on celebrating England’s character to entice domestic visitors through 2,000 pieces of coverage with an opportunities to see of 1 billion. We also ran our first ever dedicated bloggers’ press trip, resulting in one of our most successful social media campaigns - with St George’s Day retweets hitting 10 times their usual level and the VisitEngland Facebook page generating its highest ever number of click throughs.
Marking the 300th anniversary of landscape architect Capability Brown, the Year of the English Garden campaign shone a spotlight on England’s gardens and events. Dovetailing with our industry engagement and a digital campaign, our PR activity included a high profile launch event at Kensington Roof Gardens, group press trips and a presence at Chelsea Flower Show. As a result, we have secured 432 articles to date across TV, radio, print and digital contributing to the campaign’s goal of inspiring additional or extended overnight visits during 2016.
We also ensured the Year of the English Garden connected with international audiences. From events in the Paris and Berlin Embassies as well as press group trips for French, German and Dutch media resulting in over 30 articles published to date, to the filming of a France 2 TV dedicated garden mini-series, our PR activity supported the campaign’s wider objectives and helped ensure a legacy for the Year of the English Garden.
60 print, digital, TV and radio journalists and 40 destinations attended our launch event
30 top tier media attended our Chelsea Flower show event
432 pieces of coverage secured
From Shakespeare and Beatrix Potter to Charlotte Brontë, in the last year, literary anniversaries and adaptations chimed with a national audience too, so we seized the opportunity to maximise coverage for English tourism – hosting group and individual press trips for titles including the Sunday Express, Mail Online and the Sunday Times.
Partnering with Studio Canal and Cumbria Tourism, we showcased the destination behind the film release of Swallows & Amazons. Our activity included group press trips to Cumbria for high-profile journalists from titles including The Times, The Sun and Radio Times, as well as creating a topical hub on visitengland.com hosting information on adventure breaks in England. The campaign generated over 12,000 page views to our hub, as well as 866 competition entries and 62 media clips.
We also secured a new partnership with Disney and Egmont publishing to capitalise on the publication of the Poohsticks Handbook, and we ran top-tier media trips for preview screenings of The BFG to mark Road Dahl’s centenary.