Intro

Democracy created year round brand awareness for East Lancashire Railway – providing constant reasons for families and tourists both locally and nationally to visit, as a way to boost visitor numbers and in turn, the much needed funds for the charity.

1,873
Pieces of coverage
45
Pieces of broadcast coverage
20%
Increase in website traffic (year on year)

The Challenge

As a not-for-profit charity with no public funding, East Lancashire Railway, is wholly reliant on the revenue it makes from ticket sales and the shops and pubs on its premises.

Already famous for its big annual events, such as Santa Specials and the 1940s weekend. The heritage railway needed to increase the number of visitors coming throughout the year, not just at peak times - by raising awareness of key calendar dates, increasing the volume of coverage - particularly broadcast, and increasing the ‘drive time’ reach of coverage to encourage visitors from further afield.

What We Did

A national and regional year-round media campaign that combined pre-arranged awareness raising activities, with reactive opportunities to position ELR as a unique day out and generate sales.

Press/influencer visits, ‘first look’ broadcast invites and taking advantage of big calendar events not only generated immediate coverage, but also created enough brand awareness and talkability that the effects were seen across the following months.

Democracy’s strong relationships with local and national broadcast outlets were leveraged to get ELR events and spokespeople on to the radar of producers and planners - resulting in a steady stream of appearances on radio and television - across both regional and national primetime, as well as news and lifestyle programmes.

What We Delivered

Over the course of 12 months a total of 1,873 pieces of coverage were generated, 124 of which were national and 45 broadcast - raising awareness of ELR as a tourist destination amongst people nationally and regionally, and driving ticket sales.

As a result, over the year, website traffic increased 20% year on year, event page traffic rose 19% and 2018 event sales soared - for example, in June event ticket sales were up 19% year on year, and on the day This Morning broadcast its Santa Specials piece, website traffic spiked 522%.

Bookings for ELR’s 1940s weekend event increased by a fifth and the biggest ever Halloween event sales were recorded.

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