Raising awareness of the MERGE festival on London's South Bank

Better Bankside is a London-based Business Improvement District (BID) which aims to promote the Bankside area of the capital as a thriving place to live, work and visit.

O ne of the first UK BIDs, Better Bankside is also committed to improving the area by investing in community projects. These programmes include the annual arts festival, MERGE, an urban gardening scheme and the Events Academy programme which helps to combat unemployment for young people, as well as cycle commuting support and office recycling/litter collection schemes.

A big part of the PR strategy was to promote the MERGE Festival, which connects arts and the community through a month-long arts festival in Bankside. The theme was ‘Art and Science’ and the aim of the PR campaign was to promote MERGE in order to:

  • Attract attendees to the events and its various interactive exhibitions in the area
  • Promote Bankside as an arts centre and top tourist destination
  • Attract funding for next year’s festival from local businesses and arts organisations

We worked closely with Better Bankside to attract visitors and make MERGE a key London attraction. This was achieved by generating interest with key media targets. This involved organising a press day, a number of filming sessions and a series of media interviews.

Fourth Day helped to generate a buzz on social media by organising an Instagram Walk. We enlisted photographer and influential Instagramer Tim Hatton – who has over 50,000 followers on the social platform – to help.

Results

“We appointed Fourth Day and they hit the ground running, generating excellent press coverage from the outset which exceeded our expectations both in terms of quantity and quality. We’ve been really impressed with their approach, the team is proactive, hardworking and a pleasure to work with,” said Nicole Leggett, marketing manager, Better Bankside.

“For MERGE festival the results speak for themselves, a significant increase on visitors to the website and followers on Twitter which we would credit in-part to the buzz created by the media coverage – over 200 pieces in total promoting the festival.”

"For MERGE festival the results speak for themselves, a significant increase on visitors to the website and followers on Twitter which we would credit in-part to the buzz created by the media coverage - over 200 pieces in total promoting the festival."
Nicole Leggett Marketing manager, Better Bankside

At a glance:

  • Coverage 201 media articles featuring the festival
  • Social Influencing the influencers
  • Awareness 30,000 web visitors

MERGE achieved more coverage than ever before, with 201 media articles featuring the festival – up from 120 the previous year – across broadcast/ radio, national, London press, online blogs, as well as in key vertical publications covering arts, travel and architecture.

More than 30 influential Instagramers attended the the Instagram walk – each with more than 500 followers on the social platform. Using the hashtag #MERGEbankside and #MERGEfestival over 600 images were uploaded onto Instagram

Greater exposure saw brand awareness grow and website visitors increased by 30,000. Most importantly, festival visitors increased. One show by Peter William Holden featuring dancing robots received up to 500 spectators each day.