Beating stiff competition from the Alzheimer’s Society, easyJet, McDonald’s UK and VisitScotland, the 16-strong team came away with the prestigious PR Week Gold Award.
The judges were particularly impressed with the Trust’s communications strategy based on standing up for its cause and helping people – particularly young people – discover the beauty of special places.
Last year, the team’s efforts helped achieve a record increase in visitor and membership numbers – with membership of the charity reaching four million and more than 19 million visitor going to the charity’s pay for entry properties.
The focus around core campaigns – Planning for People, Time well Spent and Growing Love for Nature and the Outdoors – was also a big factor in the judges decision. These campaigns were amplified throughout the country with support from the Trust’s eight regional hubs to maximum effect.
Lead judge, PepsiCo’s director of corporate affairs Sally McCombie, said of the team: “It had a creative and original set of initiatives, which were tied directly back to the strategic objective to broaden its audience demographic, presented by a passionate and united team.”
The charity’s ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 and three quarters’ campaign, was also highly commended in the PRWeek Awards Not For Profit category.
It also won a PRWeek Award in the Marcomms under £100k category together with its agency Mischief PR for its partnership with The Beano to produce a special Gnashional Trust edition which hit news stands in July 2011.
Daniel Dodd, media and external affairs director at the National Trust, said: “We are delighted to win this award. It’s been an incredible year where we’ve worked hard to really connect with our audiences.
“The award is a tribute to the way the whole organisation got behind our campaign on planning. It also reflects our success in appealing to new audiences, particularly families, through the wonderful 50 things initiative and the tie up with the Beano.”
Fiona Reynolds, director-general at the National Trust, said: “It has been a busy year for the Trust, with our ‘Planning for People’ campaign, ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 and ¾’ and our very own issue of the Beano being among the highlights. The team has performed spectacularly well and should be very proud, as we are of them all.”