B2C PR and social media campaign

About Xplore!

Xplore! Science Discovery Centre is a visitor attraction in Wrexham.

Outwrite was tasked with raising awareness of the centre’s reopening following its relocation to the town centre as well as a rebrand from Techniquest Glyndŵr.

In addition, as it was reopening for the first time since the national lockdown, a key goal was to reassure the general public that all measures were in place and it was safe to visit.

Outwrite worked alongside Xplore! staff to develop an integrated communications plan for media relations, paid social media, organic social media support, and email.

The reopening was scheduled for Saturday 3 October.

Primary objectives:

  • Tickets to be sold out for the entire weekend
  • Customer satisfaction with COVID mitigation measures

Objectives and planning

We interviewed key members of staff at Xplore! to gather information on the relocation as well as identify engaging stories to tell.

We also liaised with the senior team about the changes and adaptations made at the centre in response to COVID-19.

In addition, we analysed social media insights and anecdotal feedback from activity in earlier months to help inform the strategy.

We created a timetable of activity to drip feed stories and content in the run up to the reopening.

Stories, angles and key messages identified included:

  • Confirmation of the reopening date
  • Testing days held to ensure COVID measures were sufficient
  • Rebrand and relocation
  • Bigger venue with more than 100 new exhibits

Target audiences:

  • Parents and guardians, including grandparents
  • Existing annual pass members
  • Previous customers

This was across North Wales, Cheshire and the Wirral.

Stand-out results

%

of tickets sold

Facebook impressions over four days

%

positive reviews

Implementation

We naturally take a flexible approach to all PR and communications work and this was particularly crucial for Xplore! due to the ever-changing nature of restrictions being imposed by the Welsh and UK Governments.

At the outset, our focus was on ensuring Xplore!’s own channels were suitably set-up to communicate key messages in anticipation of an increase in visitors to the website and social media.

As part of this, we created a new website FAQ as well as infographics and social media visuals to support key messages.

We drafted and issued a press release announcing the new date for reopening, as well as sharing what the organisation had completed to make the centre COVID secure.

When liaising with journalists about using the story as editorial, we started discussions about their level of interest in attending the opening weekend.

Our joined up activity with the Xplore! team also included supplying them with a brief for the in-house photographer to capture press style images for post-event coverage. These pictures could also be repurposed across all their channels.

Social media – organic and paid

We worked in close collaboration with Xplore’s internal marketing team.

Our activity included consultancy and guidance on elements such as teaser content generated at the testing days to create interest and intrigue ahead of the opening.

We also ensured messaging was consistent to help reassure parents and guardians that based on the success of the testing days, the facility was both ready and safe for visitors.

In addition, Outwrite identified and targeted active parents’ Facebook groups to share stories organically directly with a key target audience.

We also launched and managed a paid-for social media campaign on Facebook and Instagram. This included A/B testing to identify the best advert and wording to push further with more spend behind the best advert to ensure Xplore! received cost-effective results.

Hyperlocal

Our flexible PR approach proved vital as local lockdowns for all Welsh counties were announced just four days before the reopening. This meant only people living in the county of Wrexham could visit, severely limiting reach for Xplore!.

Our focus immediately turned to hyperlocal communication.

We issued a further press release confirming the reopening would still go ahead, as well as liaised closely with the internal team to share updates via social media and their newsletter.

Outcome/client testimonial

A sell-out opening weekend was achieved despite the major restrictions on attendance due to the local lockdown in the county of Wrexham imposed just four days prior.

In addition, all reviews and comments were 100 per cent positive.

Media relations

  • Interview on BBC Radio Wales on the morning of the reopening
  • 14 pieces of key local and regional media coverage in the run-up to the reopening

Social

We were tasked with launching and running the paid social media activity across three days from 1 October to Sunday 4 October (final day of the reopening weekend). Results included:

  • 395 link clicks (59p per link click)
  • 66,400 impressions
  • 71 new page likes on Facebook

Outwrite was also engaged by Xplore! on integrated PR for post-event activity including media relations and paid social media, as well as media relations about sponsorship of exhibits.

“The rebrand, relocation and reopening were months in the making. Originally placed on hold due to COVID restrictions in March, we were determined to ensure we achieved a sell out for the weekend.

“We recognised an integrated PR agency would help us and Outwrite impressed from the outset.

“From strategy down to implementation, Outwrite made a huge difference for Xplore!.

“The team’s focus on communication with our stakeholders across multiple channels was pivotal in making sure key messages reached our different audiences.

“We’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with Outwrite going forward.”

Katie Williams

Business development and stakeholder engagement officer, Xplore!

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