September 11th, 2013 — 5:10pm
…or lose me forever. Yes, Visit Suffolk’s mystery-shrouded campaign to promote the wonders of holidaymaking in Suffolk has this week launched to tourism businesses across the county.
Take me to Suffolk will show people where to go, what to do and what’s up in Suffolk – in real time. It’s unique in tourism destination marketing and is based on two very important things: discovery and sharing.
It’s grown up from our refusal to believe in ‘hidden gems’. We believe in helping people to find treasures. So ‘Take me to Suffolk’ is a beautiful, intuitively useable and well-marketed map of the county, on a website and facebook app.
It pulls in businesses’ social media feeds, is crammed with deep-dive information about our county’s many attractions, and will grow over time to provide a great campaign legacy for tourism.
We’ll be managing a well-targeted facebook campaign and robust content strategy throughout the life of the campaign, as well as seeing a comprehensive PR plan put into action by Jungle PR.
Here are some images from the VIP launch in Southwold’s Swan this Monday. There’s another Masterclass running in Stowmarket on the 24th September, which is filling up fast.
Comment » | Change, Community, Copywriting, Design, Digital, East Anglia, Events, Fun, News, PR, Social, Southwold, Springers, Web, creativity, food and drink, suffolk, tourism
July 25th, 2013 — 5:14pm
When it comes to content marketing we have our own best-practice approach at Spring. It’s enabled us to grow the online followings of clients such as Bollinger and Mark Harrod by the thousands, and in the two years since we launched The Suffolk Coast website it’s helped us grow site visits from nothing to over 100,000 a year – something we’re extremely proud of.
This May we were able to turn our attention to The Suffolk Coast’s social media following, which had been growing organically since the site launched. We proposed an online competition: a ten-week prize giveaway in the run up to the high season in summer.
We decided that the best prizes were experiential rather than material
Rather than offer material prizes we decided to make use of the incredible experiences to be had on The Suffolk Coast: the gastronomic delights, encounters with nature, music events and outdoor activities that make this part of the world so special. We wanted the prizewinners to experience their prize and share it with a loved one, so that they could look back in many years’ time and say, “Remember that wonderful weekend we spent on The Suffolk Coast?”
The winner's experience began with a big congratulations...
And so ‘Win a Suffolk Coast Experience’ was born – and what experiences they were! The prizes included golf and lunch for four at Thorpeness Hotel, lunch at The Brudenell and Café 1885, a professional photography tutorial, tours of the Adnams’ brewery and distillery, a guided walk at RSPB Minsmere, tickets to Aldeburgh Music, a weekend break in a Suffolk Secrets holiday cottage and two weekend tickets to Latitude Festival.
With ten weeks of careful management the competition garnered an 800% increase in Facebook followers for The Suffolk Coast, and an astonishing 16078% increase in Facebook reach at the competition’s height. In just one night the number of followers jumped up by 73%!
...and a 'golden ticket' style voucher
As well as growing The Suffolk Coast’s social media following, the competition has also had a rather heartwarming human effect. We’ve received messages of thanks from every one of the prizewinners, leaving us in no doubt that they will be returning to The Suffolk Coast again in the very near future – a result that means more than any percentage ever could.
Comment » | Brand, East Anglia, Fun, Social, tourism
June 11th, 2013 — 9:28am
“Wind farms may be stopped by locals”
“End of hated wind farms that ruin our countryside amid growing backlash over green energy”
“Locals to get veto power over wind farms”
“New planning guidance will make it harder to build wind farms”
From these headlines, which featured in last week’s national press, you’d think that the Department for Energy and Climate Change’s latest announcements spelt a death knell for the onshore wind industry. In fact, the messages coming from their response to the recent call for evidence on onshore wind are largely positive, for the industry and communities, aiming to improve the engagement process and empower communities to get involved and make informed decisions.
In summary, the key messages are:
- Community consultation becomes compulsory (currently only for 50MW+), with published guidance by DECC to help developers and communities
- A community engagement register will be established to enable transparency of practice
- An increase in recommended community benefit contributions from £1,000 per MW to £5,000 per MW
- An evidence toolkit produced by Government and its partners to provide up-to-date, robust and accessible evidence on the impacts of onshore wind schemes
In a nutshell, communities will know what to expect from the consultation process and they will be able to reap greater rewards in the form of of funding for community energy initiatives, educational schemes or local facilities.
Spring already advocates early, open engagement with local communities; developing project-specific strategies that take into account who we need to engage with, how best to do so and when is the right time. And we always bear scrutiny in mind, making sure our strategies are robust and not tick-the-box. DECC’s announcement will only reinforce our approach.
The guidelines on community engagement, which are to be published early next year, will help manage the expectations of our clients, our communities and ourselves. A register will cast clarity on what is and isn’t good practice, shining a light on good examples and ‘exposing’ the not-so-good.
The evidence toolkit will set a national standard for the facts and figures we use to help communicate the potential impacts of wind energy schemes to our stakeholders; removing any concern of bias.
It is unsurprising yet disappointing that the tabloids translated this as giving overriding power to communities who do not want wind turbines near to them. This is certainly not the case. These changes should provide clarity to an often-complex pre-application consultation process for both sides of the debate. And where turbines are built, host communities can see direct benefits.
We look forward to continuing to help our clients run effective consultations that establish trust and genuinely engage with local communities. But we won’t hold our breath for a major change in angle from the red tops!
Comment » | Community Engagement, Press, Social
April 19th, 2013 — 4:07pm
St Elizabeth Hospice is a leading local charity which is dedicated to helping people live with progressive illnesses. In summer 2011 they expanded their service area to include Waveney and Great Yarmouth and called Spring in to help them tell the community about their services. After a successful launch, St Elizabeth Hospice came to Spring again a year later to create a ‘reminder’ campaign to keep them in the public’s mind.
Spring created leaflets and ads using photography of, and quotes from, real patients and nurses to communicate the care and support given by the St Elizabeth Hospice team. Spring ensured that imagery and messaging were applied consistently across a range of communications materials. The campaign included local press advertising, door drops and radio advertising which was supported by PR.
There’s been great feedback. We heard that the use of a photograph and case study of a young patient encouraged a teenager to seek support for a parent, and using a real nurse encouraged a referral from someone who had known the nurse in a previous palliative care role and trusted them.
The hospice saw a 50 per cent uplift in enquiries (by phone and email) and referrals over the two week campaign.
Comment » | Community, News, PR, Press, Print, Social
January 14th, 2013 — 1:35pm
To mark the start of the year in which we will celebrate Benjamin Britten’s centenary, Spring has relaunched the ever-popular Suffolk Coast website.
New features include a subtle redesign to make more of the imagery and bring the site in line with current web style. We have introduced a clean sans-serif font in place of the previous newspaper style typography. We have also reduced the text content on landing pages, and increased the image-led calls to action.
The site’s identity has morphed from a summer to winter image of migrating geese, with a colour palette that evokes a big Suffolk winter sky.
Research into user journeys shows high demand for events information, so there are multiple routes into details of local happenings as well as clear signs of the site being kept very much up to date. Other heavy traffic areas are location articles, so again we have emphasised these in our layout and design.
‘Things we love’ is in keeping with visitors’ desire to see edited content – essentially, the best of the Suffolk Coast by those who know and love it best. The content of this section ranges from walks to shops, from recipes to attractions, giving visitors a flash guide to the region.
We have provided some neat short cuts – for example, a nifty little tool in the header bar summarises the weather in an appropriately conversational style, there’s a quick sign up to seasonal emailers, and visitors are given tabs to social media networks.
Spring’s content calendar for this site sees us creating three articles every week for the site, on subjects ranging from shopping to wildlife, local characters to unusual places to stay. This is the core of a site which is also populated by businesses and organisations located here, who tell us about their events, heritage and other matters of interest for us to edit and upload to the site.
The website was first launched three years ago as the digital home of a content strategy devised to engage an intelligent audience with an interest in the heritage, arts and culture of our area. This audience visits all year round, attracted as much by the Suffolk Coast’s quality food and drink offering, its landscape and lively events scene as by its beaches and big skies.
Spring’s consistent monitoring of visitor behaviour has led to regular redesigns as we maximise the site’s useability for its market. Essentially an on line encyclopedia of the area, the site has achieved a loyal following and often features across other channels including the BBC.
Comment » | Brand, Community, Copywriting, Design, East Anglia, Events, Marketing, Social, Southwold, Springers, Thinking, Web, food and drink, suffolk, tourism