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Sectors: Public Sector,

Services: PR & Communications,

The client

Marketing Southport is the tourism and marketing agency for the seaside town of Southport in Sefton, Merseyside and its 100+ tourism business members. Social is the retained PR agency for Marketing Southport, working closely with Sefton Council.

The challenge

Marketing Southport appointed Social to manage its tourism PR activity. We deliver targeted and effective media stories that result in coverage that reaches the agreed target audiences, leading to increased visitor numbers. Marketing Southport was looking for an agency that understood its audience profiles and the evolution of its brand since a relaunch.

The solution

We immersed our team in Marketing Southport, familiarising ourselves with the existing research and strategy documents, relevant governmental and council documents and the tourism sector across Sefton, Liverpool City Region and beyond.

Our strategic approach included stakeholder mapping, audience segmentation and creating an engagement plan with key messaging and opportunity mapping. This all formed our PR plan for Marketing Southport, focusing our activities on news releases, interview pitches, newsjacking, thought leadership and case studies, all aimed at selling Southport as a great place to visit.

The impact

We arranged journalist and influencer visits to Southport, which resulted in high profile positive pieces appearing in The i newspaper, Liverpool Echo, Cheshire Life and Lancashire Life. National influencer and blogger Carly Outerbridge (known as @themummythateats and with 11.4K followers) wrote glowing social media and website pieces on Southport after we helped arrange a trip to the area.

We also earned editorial coverage in the Liverpool Echo and Stand Up For Southport on family-friendly and ‘wild’ days out – showcasing the areas of natural beauty and tourism attractions available in Southport, ranging from its glorious parks and Squirrel Cycle Route to the beach and Pleasureland.

We wrote and successfully pitched a ‘SouthPAWT’ feature showcasing how dog-friendly venues across Southport had trebled. Lancashire Live – which has 230K online visitors a month – carried the piece which emphasised the many different things visitors to Southport can enjoy and again included a link to the Visit Southport website.

We issued successful news releases for Marketing Southport around events such as the Food and Drink Festival and Southport Air Show, alongside seasonal ‘listicle’ releases about 10 Sensational Summer Days Out and Halloween in Southport, all of which received strong local and regional coverage as well as social media response.