Campaign: Exhibiting The Duchess at Kedleston Hall
Client: The National Trust
Sector: Leisure and tourism
Timescale: January–February, 2009
Tactics: Design; public relations

When Hollywood blockbuster The Duchess was filmed at Kedleston Hall, the National Trust wanted to exploit the opportunity to boost visitor numbers. It asked McConnells to create an exhibition on-site and a public relations campaign to promote the exhibition and hall.

Online Marketing

• To use the filming of The Dutchess at Kedleston Hall to boost visitor numbers

Strategy and plan

McConnells’ designers worked closely with The National Trust team to turn behind-the-scenes photographs into an exhibition that brought to life the insider gossip about everything from filming to preserving the fabric, fittings and fixtures of the hall. The team then designed a series of advertisements, leaflets and posters featuring The Duchess star, Keira Knightly, to gain maximum exposure for the exhibition.
McConnells created and distributed press releases regarding the exhibition to regional and national media. After completing the successful PR campaign for the Kedleston Hall exhibition, we implemented a coordinated campaign to promote the Christmas openings of seven National Trust properties across the East Midlands using The Duchess as a springboard.

Measurement and evaluation

The exhibition itself was well-received by visitors and our public relations work ensured it was effectively publicised. We secured extensive press coverage for The Duchess exhibition. The Christmas public relations campaign generated coverage across TV, radio, regional interest magazines, newspapers and online.

RESULTS: The exhibition and its promotion raised the profile of the property both regionally and nationally and resulted in a large uplift in visitors to Kedleston Hall.

Download the National Trust case study