The Assignment:

The Gobbins (TG), Northern Ireland’s eagerly awaited tourist attraction, made a triumphant return in August 2015 after a hiatus of 50 years, following extensive campaigning and a substantial £7.5 million investment. Rumour Mill was enlisted to orchestrate a comprehensive 12-month integrated communications plan.

The Strategy:

Our communications strategy for The Gobbins aimed to foster deeper engagement among audiences, encouraging them to share their experiences and spark conversations about the attraction to expand our reach. Through meticulous analysis, encompassing a SWOT assessment, alignment with client objectives, competitor scrutiny, and a thorough examination of TG’s Unique Selling Propositions (USPs), we devised a strategy tailored to:

1. Establishing a robust media relations presence among journalists and prominent publications leading up to the attraction’s reopening.
2. Cultivating novel avenues to engage and interact more frequently with our target audience, particularly leveraging digital and social media platforms.
3. Employing timely and compelling messages and offers to prompt immediate booking impulses.

Our launch strategy revolved around leveraging the heightened anticipation surrounding the restoration by maintaining a consistent flow of media relations activities, both online and offline.

The Results:

– Secured broadcast coverage on esteemed platforms such as Good Morning Ulster, UTV, Northern Visions TV, Irish TV, and RTE in the build-up to the opening.
– Garnered broadcast coverage on prestigious shows including BBC Breakfast, Good Morning Britain, Radio 2, Radio 4, BBC World, and BBC 24.
– Extensive coverage across daily newspapers throughout the opening week.
– Received media inquiries from international locales including New York, Australia, Germany, Sweden, and China.
– Facilitated over 50 media trips.
– Over 250 Facebook posts with an impressive reach.
– Achieved 1,000 visitors within the first two weeks and 5,000 within the initial two months, surpassing projections.
– Witnessed overwhelming demand necessitating a shift to phone bookings due to online booking system overload.
– Accumulated 5,000 page likes on Facebook within the first two weeks of launching the page.
– Consistently maintained an average post reach of 15,000.
– Achieved significant engagement metrics across various social media platforms, including likes, shares, comments, and retweets.
– Accolades included being named a finalist in multiple categories at the CIPR Awards 2016, including Best Integrated Campaign, Best Consumer Campaign, and Best Use of Photography or Design.

The Gobbins’ triumphant return sparked widespread acclaim, firmly establishing it as Northern Ireland’s foremost tourism attraction and a shining example of successful integrated marketing.