3rd December 2009

2009 Highlights

Shropshire Tourism generates over £5 million of positive press coverage each year. So much has happened in 2009, from nationwide marketing campaigns to fantastic press & PR coverage, plus we’ve said goodbye to old friends and welcomed new faces into the Shropshire Tourism team. Here’s a quick recap on some of the projects we have been busy with this year.

1) New Accommodation Assessment Scheme for Shropshire

In April this year Shropshire Tourism launched a new accommodation assessment scheme for Shropshire, undertaken by our subsidiary company Direct Tourism Services Ltd. This locally delivered and managed assessment scheme has been extremely well received. To date, we have assessed nearly 70 accommodation businesses throughout Shropshire.

Croft Cottage Bed and Breakfast, Ludlow: "The whole assessment service was efficiently organised and I received a very fair and competent assessment"

For further information about the assessment scheme click here.

2)Happy Birthday Charles Darwin

Who could forget, Charles Darwin turned 200 on 12th February and Shropshire Tourism were there to help blow out his birthday candles, along with over 300 well wishers. We were proud to undertake the Darwin PR & Marketing Contract on behalf of Shropshire Council, to create a lasting Darwin and Shrewsbury legacy in the mind of the visitor, potential visitor and indeed the residents of Shrewsbury and Shropshire. And we generated £2 million worth of press coverage as well.

We undertook a series of innovative, publicity focused activities to attract positive press coverage at a local, regional and national level to reinforce the Darwin connection with Shrewsbury.

Here’s just a taste of these activities:

  • National and regional advertising campaign
  • Darwin short film
  • Darwin At a Glance leaflets and the ‘Little Book of Darwin’
  • Darwin Town Trail
  • Darwin Events programme
  • Press Packs
  • Window clings, flags and banners
  • E-marketing and new website for Darwin, www.discoverdarwin.co.uk
  • Planning and coordination of the 12th February Happy Birthday Charles Darwin events

To date, the total advertising equivalent value for the press coverage generated for the Darwin campaign is £2,091,169.

3) Shropshire Press Coverage

Shropshire Tourism’s press and PR team have been working hard all year to generate media coverage for the whole county, from the BBC Two Hairy Bikers series which filmed in Ludlow and Shrewsbury, Countryfile magazine and the Mail on Sunday to name but a few.

Additional press coverage generated included The Lonely Planet Guides for England and Great Britain featuring a combined total of 26 pages on Shropshire, from Shrewsbury, Ironbridge and Much Wenlock, to Bridgnorth, Bishop’s Castle and Church Stretton. This was generated as a result of a press visit for the Lonely Planet Editor hosted by Shropshire Tourism. We also welcomed a freelance journalist writing for the Time Out Britain guide, which resulted in 2 chapters on Shropshire, including Wroxeter and the Wrekin, Craven Arms and the Longmynd.

The established relationships we have with our journalist contacts mean they just keep coming back to us for more! And we have received more new press enquiries this year than ever before: 104 so far.

The press coverage generated from January 2009 to date has a whopping advertising equivalent value of £5,866,352.00 and a publicity value of £17,599,056. If you would like support with your own Press & PR then email swhittall@shropshiretourism.co.uk and find out how we can help you.

4) Market Towns get a boost

Shropshire Tourism undertook a regional advertising campaign on behalf of Shropshire & Telford Destination Management Partnership to promote Shropshire’s market towns.

Adverts ran between April and September in the West Midlands Express & Star and the Ticket Daily Mail. We also ran national adverts in the Daily Mail, The Independent and The Guardian, in addition to a radio campaign on Smooth FM.

5) Shropshire for Groups

Our UKITA accredited in-house IT team re-vamped www.shropshireforgroups.co.uk in-line with the new branding Shropshire Tourism implemented for Shropshire for Groups.

As well as a new-look website, we produced:

  • A new leaflet
  • Invitation to Shropshire
  • Double sided Useful Information guide
  • Double sided Itineraries guide
  • A new folder for Group Travel Organisers receiving the literature

All of these items were delivered on behalf of Telford & Shropshire Destination Management Partnership and are a great example of how joint working (in this case between Shropshire Tourism and Transforming Telford) can achieve outstanding results.

6) Grant Scheme Brings Benefits

Shropshire Tourism has seen a big response from members regarding the Shropshire Sustainable Tourism Business Grant Scheme, launched by Shropshire Council.

We have already undertaken 12 bespoke marketing reviews for businesses across the county and the response has been extremely positive. Here are just a couple of comments:

Holly Cottage, (Self Catering) Church Stretton:

"Just wanted to confirm the conversation we had recently on the telephone following on from our Marketing review meeting. The meeting itself was very helpful and informative. The information and background supplied was really useful. It helped me to understand the current marketplace surrounding tourism within Shropshire and to have that background information and statistics has really helped me to understand where and how to direct my marketing spend - something particularly critical in the current economic climate. The follow on review document is both clear and informative and I am already starting to put some of the suggested marketing actions into place.”

Balmer Heath Cottage, (B&B) Ellesmere:

"I would like to thank you for your help and support. The marketing report was particularly helpful and came up with some useful ideas, confirmed some of my own ideas and provided the relevant market research to help me make some decisions about our future direction."

If you would like more information about our marketing review service please email cjones@shropshiretourism.co.uk

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