The Shipwrecked Mariners' Society - Celebrations of the Sea

What Acceleris was asked to do...

Acceleris devised an initiative which would see acclaimed underwater photographer Kate Westaway create an exhibition of photographs of people whose lives are dominated by the sea to raise money for existing retained client the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.

A unique feature of the project was that it would be entirely self funded with Acceleris generating sponsorship to support delivery.

What we did...

Acceleris approached a number of potential sponsors and quickly secured canned seafood manufacturer John West as headline sponsor of the initiative.

The Sea Life Centre was also secured as national event partner, with the exhibition launching at the world's oldest aquarium in Brighton where the images were displayed within the tanks themselves. The exhibition subsequently moved to Weymouth, Birmingham, Blackpool and Scarborough.

To secure national media interest, Acceleris approached a number of celebrities with connections to the sea to support the project. They included TV presenter and historian Dan Snow, celebrity fish chef Mitch Tonks, TV Wildlife presenter Ellie Harrison and international yachtsman Mike Golding OBE who took part in underwater shoots.

Acceleris devised an integrated programme of online and offline activity to publicise the project. A video news release (VNR) was filmed featuring Dan Snow’s involvement and an endorsement of the charity’s work. 

The results...

The coverage generated from the project so far has resulted in nearly seven million opportunities to see or hear about the charity with web coverage at nearly six million unique visitors.

Broadcast and media coverage to date includes: ITV Meridian, BBC South, ITV South West, the Guardian, the Metro, BBC Online and London Standard.

The society’s website analytics show an increase in traffic of 70 percent on the average monthly visits throughout the activity.

The social media strategy was particularly successful as can be seen in the below results. The main highlights were:

  • Dan Snow tweeted about his involvement in the exhibition to his 18,000 followers
  • Chef Mitch Tonks retweeted to his 5,000 followers
  • Society Guardian shared the VNR to its 17,500 followers on Twitter

Furthermore, the society received an uplift in donations of 10% in the three months of the activity.

Malcolm Williams, Chief Executive of the Society, said: “We appreciate all Acceleris’ efforts in pulling together this fantastic initiative over many months and it was worth it. The publicity generated has gone a long way to raising the Society's profile with our current supporters and hopefully encouraging new ones.”

The campaign won Gold in the 'Not-for-Profit' category at the 2012 Yorkshire and Lincolnshire CIPR PRide Awards, where judges commented:

"This unique and highly creative idea managed to make a relatively unknown charity very famous. The campaign not only generated fantastic national media coverage and a social buzz, but also raised awareness of the charity and has made a tangible difference to future of the organisation. The team at Acceleris went above and beyond in sourcing sponsors, supporters, event venues and media coverage to deliver a stand out campaign, which will live on for a number of years and of which they should be very proud."