Campaigns: Environment - Hats off to the University of Leeds

Client: University of Leeds
Campaign: Gardening For Champions
PR team: Lucre
Timescale: March-May 2012
Budget: £17,000

The University of Leeds asked Lucre to publicise its first participation in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.


- To establish the University of Leeds' research as making a valuable contribution to ecosystem services

- To bring this research to the attention of the wider public, including prospective academic and business partners.

Strategy and plan

Lucre used traditional media relations tactics to publicise key messages, including keeping an area of a garden messy to attract wildlife and details of the university's research.

To stand out from the show gardens with larger publicity budgets, the team commissioned a local florist to make a huge Ascot-style hat out of the garden's plants.

Measurement and evaluation

The campaign generated more than 50 pieces of coverage, including an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live and a splash in the London Evening Standard. Academic journals including The Ecologist covered the story, as did Horticulture Today and the New Scientist.

The Facebook page has gained 522 likes and the app now has more than 200 users.


The campaign generated three new approaches for further research collaboration from commercial and academic partners.

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