In-House Team of the Year: National Trust

The National Trust has great brand awareness, but its ambition to reach five million members by 2020 inspired the team to make big changes to its comms strategy.

National Trust: In-House Team of the Year
National Trust: In-House Team of the Year

It was rewarded with a record increase in visitor and membership numbers, proving that taking risks can pay off.

In order to reach a wider audience, the conservation and heritage charity changed its messaging and shifted its media relations to focus on more mid-market publications, digital and broadcast channels.

It lobbied the Government to rethink its proposals for changing the planning system in England. This activity led to 230,000 people signing its petition and its director-general holding a meeting with the Prime Minister. The final version of the Government’s proposal was significantly less damaging to the countryside.

In conjunction with Mischief PR, the team worked with The Beano to produce a special ‘Gnashional Trust’ edition. This campaign won a PRWeek Award in the Marcoms Less Than £100k category.

It launched an appeal to buy Llyndy Isaf – a 248 acre farm and lake in the heart of Snowdonia – and raised £1m in seven months, enough to save the farm.

The team also launched a ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ campaign, which was highly commended in the PRWeek Awards Not For Profit category.

Visitor numbers increased by 1.2 million to 19 million total visits. It recruited more than 750,000 new members, the most in any 12-month period in the trust’s history. The trust also saw a 20 per cent increase in mentions in the media from the previous year.

The judges praised the team for achieving exceptional results through its smart use of customer insight.

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