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Shakespeare's Celebrations

Each year, Shakespeare Celebrations hosts an annual parade to celebrate William Shakespeare’s birthday in his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon. We were tasked to support the Celebrations in 2015 and then again in 2016, which marked 400 years since his death. 

We worked closely with Stratford Town and District Councils to ensure that Stratford-on-Avon, Shakespeare’s Celebrations and local partners had a voice on the birthday weekend. Our strategy was to deliver an integrated public relations campaign, including social media, press activity, events, partnership communications and printed literature, to drive overall awareness and recognition and encourage visitors to the town and the Birthday Parade itself.

Results: We generated over 1800 pieces of media coverage, with 1160 across the UK including national print and live broadcast news. 87% of this was positive, with the remaining 13% neutral and reached a total of 760,883,353 people. Images of attendees wearing a Shakespeare mask created photo-lead articles across the UK and the world.  We increased Twitter followers by 90%, Facebook likes by 225% and helped drive over 41,500 visitors to the website over the weekend.

In addition, Shakespeare Celebrations was named one of top 8 things to do in April  and Warwickshire named by Lonely Planet as being in the Top 10 European Destinations, citing both Stratford-upon-Avon and Shakespeare. Crowds of over 55,000 people were recorded over the weekend, with reports of a 28% increase in footfall. Shakespeare hashtags (including #Shakespeare2016) used on Twitter during the campaign gained more popularity than other key trends in April (#Prince #Obama).

Following the success of the project, our 2016 campaign went on to win two CIPR PRride Awards – a Gold Award for Best Media Relations Campaign and Silver Award for Best Use of Photography.

Sarah Summers, client commented “The feedback we have had has been so positive and we couldn’t have asked for better coverage. From the amount of journalists, press and media on the ground on the day, we can fully appreciate that you really had your work cut out, but it all appeared to go so well.”

We also received positive feedback from media including ‘That was an amazing weekend. And thank you so much for your help – it made acres of difference to our coverage. And you were never grumpy when we rang up again (and again) to check or ask for something.’ BBC Midlands Today

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