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Case Study

National Trust Wales: Uncovering Wales’ most ‘Special Place’

Following a successful autumn campaign in 2013, Working Word was brought on by National Trust Wales to work on its major summer campaign for 2014 – Special Places. The campaign aimed to start a national conversation across the whole of Wales and uncover the nation’s most special place – we wanted people across the country to let us know what was special to them, whether it be somewhere on the coast, in the countryside, one of National Trust’s own sites or even their favourite park bench!

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Objectives

  • Start a national conversation that involves everyone from the Senedd to the schoolyard and gets the nation talking about their own special places and backing the places and the spaces that mean the most to them

  • Position National Trust Wales as a leading body that is entrusted to look after Wales’ most special places – outside of just its own portfolio

  • Achieve high quality pieces of coverage which include all key messages of the campaign and ensure National Trust stays front of mind for days out

Our approach

  • Commissioned a piece of research which showed what people think made a place special - the top answer was a link with childhood memories- to create a platform for the campaign and the open nomination period where the public could vote for anywhere they liked through Facebook, Twitter and in person at events and places

  • Commissioned the creation of a ‘Special Places memory tree’ and toured it nationwide to key events including Hay Festival, Royal Welsh and the Eisteddfod, encouraging the public to think about link between their special place and the memories they have of it, as well as taking the campaign to the Senedd and primary schools, to ensure the conversation involved all audiences and welcomed their vote

  • Had a media partnership with MediaWales and a microsite on the WalesOnline website

  • Put together a panel of official ‘Special Places’ judges who narrowed down the top 25 from the open nomination phase to a shortlist of ten, which were subject to a public vote for the winner

  • Worked with the Minister for Economy Edwina Hart to announced the winner at the Eisteddfod, and Culture Minister John Griffiths to kick off the campaign at Hay Festival

  • Achieved celebrity engagement from the likes of BBC The One Show’s Alex Jones, actor Matthew Rees, fashion designer Julien MacDonald and opera star Bryn Terfel to name a few

Results

  • Pan-Wales media coverage was achieved in over 100 media outlets, including nine broadcast hits which profiled a mixture of front-running places and National Trust experts

  • Special Places became a huge talking point for the entire nation, with masses of engagement over Twitter from celebrities, AMs, heritage and tourism bodies and local influencers and thousands of votes, with Penarth Pier named the winner and given support for a community event

  • National Trust Wales positioned as a leading figure looking after the nation’s Special Places in Wales and helping to keep them special for ever, for everyone

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