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Historic Royal Palaces

Re-imaging Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Jago was tasked with positioning the £20m re-imaging of Hillsborough Castle & Gardens, County Down, as a unique visitor experience in Northern Ireland. Now part of Historic Royal Palaces, our aim was to exceed ambitious visitor numbers.  We needed to change the perception of Hillsborough Castle, inspiring visitors to return again and again.

What was our approach?+

We embarked on a mission to uncover incredible stories behind Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, across range of interests and topics, matching to key consumer segments, particularly in the Republic of Ireland, with the greatest tourism potential. We worked on a strategy and planned a year-long PR activity calendar. From an in-depth feature strategy, broadcast calendar, arresting activations in Belfast and Dublin, media and influencer events, creative PR photography and focused micro-campaigns around key dates, we continually drove media coverage to build momentum to the launch. In addition, we developed a community engagement strategy including a preview community event.

What was the impact?+

Exceeded targets over threefold with over 400 pieces of positive media coverage across Ireland with a combined reach of over 100 million. In excess of 10 front page coverage pieces with several double-page inspiring features in national print media, from newspapers such as Irish Times to Sunday Independent and magazines like Stellar, The Gloss, IMAGE and RTE Guide. Broadcast features amongst all target programmes including Virgin Media Ireland AM, UTV, BBC and RTÉ. Over 65% of coverage included URL as a key call to action to book tickets. The April 2019 reopening was solidly led with PR only with strong visitors numbers growing throughout the year.

Hillsborough Castle + Horrible Histories in Dublin

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