We created, launched and managed all of the marketing for this brand new tourist attraction in the Wye Valley from scratch. We were brought in during the planning stage in early 2013 and developed a marketing strategy, created all of the branding, built a website, set up social media accounts, created press releases and managed all of the public relations, designed and managed the printing for all printed materials, did all the photography, coordinated sculptor outreach and communications, carried out email marketing and organised many events including press preview evenings. It was a very rewarding role, working with a dynamic team in a stunning location and it became a hugely successful business which I am very proud to have been involved in.
Featuring a beautiful Grade II listed house and gardens, over 100 sculptures were installed in the gardens for each sculpture show of which three were held each year. A cafe doubled as an art gallery and we had local artists, jewellery makers and craftspeople displaying their works inside as well. We opened to the public on the first May bank holiday weekend of 2013 after a buzzing press preview evening the night before and the sales, positive reviews and press coverage flowed!
- Strategy and planning
- Branding and messaging
- Social media set up and management
- Website design, build and management
- Content creation
- Email marketing (B2C and B2B)
- All PR and media relations
- Press evenings and visits
- Brochure and sculpture guide design
- All printed materials including leaflets, posters, signage, menus
Website Set Up and Management
Project management of the website design and build which went live in spring 2013.
Content creation including all copy for the website and brochure, social media copy, press invites, press releases, blog posts, articles for various publications, newsletters.
Coordinating and managing press visits, coverage including being in The Telegraph’s ‘Top Ten Sculpture Gardens in the UK’ in the first year with a photo taken by me.
We ran three sculpture shows per year each requiring a guide to the gardens, sculptures and sculptors. I designed an A5 brochure of around 32 pages with information on the house and gardens, a map and a section on each of the sculptors which visitors were handed when they arrived.
Press and Preview Evenings
Prior to each show we held press and preview evenings to allow selected invitees to preview the sculpture show. They were always wonderful events and allowed us to meet, greet and show journalists around without members of the public being there. The sculptors were often there as well allowing them to discuss their works. Plus we made a lot of sales on those preview nights!
I have always recognised the power of collaboration and encouraged clients to connect with other businesses and not class them as competition. Doing this was one of our great successes at Wyndcliffe. I connected with a wide range of local businesses and invited them all for a visit. We welcomed the owners of tourist attractions, accommodation providers, hospitality owners, tour guides, tourism associations, shop owners and more. We also took the time to visit them and find out about what they did. We had a leaflet display and a section on the website with information about them. Wyndcliffe did not have any accommodation and only served light lunches so this meant we were able to recommend and direct customers to nearby places to stay and eat as well as other things to do. We collaborated with other local gardens Veddw and Wye Valley Sculpture Garden to promote each other and raise awareness of the trio of fabulous gardens within a few miles of each other. We even created an itinerary so that people could visit all three in one day, perfect for group coach tours which we began welcoming in 2013. We also stocked a range of local delicacies including the delicious Brooke’s Dairy ice cream from just up the road.
In the early days our budget was tight and so I took all of the photos myself on my old compact camera. Of course, the subject matter was so beautiful that it wasn’t a tough job!
The Cafe and the Cake
We understood the importance of a good cafe. It’s one of the reasons why garden centres have become so popular. The priorities were hot tea and coffee, good cake, simple food, somewhere for people to escape to from any bad weather and rest in comfort without forcing them back to their cars and somewhere to give them more time to ponder making a purchase. The walls were displayed with local art and we sold a range of crafts and jewellery too. Our chef also made the most delicious cakes – her gluten free lemon and lavender cake was the best and she often saved me a piece which was very welcome after a long day.