'Escape the Gaol' at the Old Melbourne Gaol

Wrights was tasked with helping the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) increase visitation to the Old Melbourne Gaol during the busy December/January school holiday period. Targeted towards children and their families, ‘Escape the Gaol’ was introduced exclusively for the holiday period, providing something new and interesting to capture the attention of media and drive domestic attendance.

In order to showcase the Gaol’s unique and experiential offering to attract visitors, Wrights implemented a strategic media relations plan.  

Wrights developed media materials that were distributed to leading news, parenting and lifestyle publications and event listing websites. The media materials focused on the new, limited-edition  ‘Escape the Gaol’ experience and positioned it as the must-do activity for kids to do on the school holidays.

In addition, Wrights coordinated an event to celebrate the launch of ‘Escape the Gaol’ and invited a small selection of mummy bloggers and lifestyle influencers to attend with their children. The children participated in the activity and influencers were encouraged to capture and share content on their social media channels with their followers.

The campaign focused extensively on securing ‘What’s On’ listings with a number of key news, tourism, parenting and lifestyle media. Coverage included pieces in Herald Sun, The Age, City of Melbourne, The Urban List, TimeOut Melbourne, Visit Victoria, Weekend Notes and Star Weekly. Collectively, over 25 pieces of media coverage were secured, reaching an audience of over 7 million.

The ‘Escape the Gaol’ influencer event resulted in 39 social media posts, with 1,980 engagments and an audience reach of over 230,000.

As a result of the PR activity, the NTAV noted a significant increase in visitation to the Gaol for the duration of the campaign, which hit a record high on Friday, 29 December 2017 – three days after ‘Escape the Gaol’ officially launched.  

Douglas Wright
Are you an influencer because you say you are?

Social media remains all the rage with communicators at the moment.  It is effective in some cases, no doubt, but how effective is the question.

Advertising great, David Ogilvy is quoted as saying the advertising business is infested with idiots who try to impress by using pretentious jargon. 

Social media is infested with wannabes who don’t believe in what they are selling.  Many ‘influencers’ will post anything for a price. 

Ogilvy also said one in 100 advertising campaigns were a success.  I would think this number is stretched even further with social media campaigns.  Maybe one in a thousand.

So is it worth trying to sell through influencers? 

Nearly three-quarters of buyers who are connected online use social media for guidance on purchase decisions, some studies suggest. 

Other data is used to claim that 4 in 10 people say they purchased an item online, following support by an influencer. If this is true, it means that social media and influencer marketing are potentially very powerful tools that cannot be ignored.

Some online influencers have traction in informing consumers on how they view brands, at least with some audiences.

In using online influencers and social media, it is important to ensure that the influencer reflects the same values as your brand and that they are in-tune with the people with whom you need to connect.

But most importantly, you have to understand what success looks like.  Is it likes or followers or sales or increased awareness?  If you don’t have meaningful key performance indicators for an influencer campaign, you might as well keep your money in the bank.




Douglas Wright