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Millions Share Lancashire Day

Monday, 2nd December 2013

At the beginning of November Marketing Lancashire, the Destination Management Organisation charged with promoting the county as a great place to visit, live, work, study and invest, launched the Say Cheese For Lancashire Day social media campaign, with partners Dewlay Cheesemakers of Garstang and Bashall Barn, of Bashall Eaves in the Ribble Valley.

 

The campaign, to celebrate all things Lancastrian and to promote Lancashire Day*, invited visitors as well as proud Lancastrians to share photographs or ‘selfies’ of themselves in locations across the county saying ‘cheese’ for Lancashire Day.  The images were shared through Twitter using the hashtag #Lancashireday, and via Facebook and Flickr. 

The campaign was promoted through visitlancashire.com and @visitlancashire and @touristboard twitter feeds. During the month-long campaign visitlancashire.com received over 100,000 unique visitors, a 70% increase compared with November 2012.

 Images appeared throughout the campaign but the final week, leading to Lancashire Day itself, saw photographs and messages tagged #Lancashireday flooding in.  In the final analysis Marketing Lancashire’s activities to promote #Lancashireday reached over 13 million people, with visitlancashire the top influencer and #Lancashireday trending across the UK by early morning. Twitter-users look to ‘top influencers’ in their industry with the aim of connecting to niche audiences, for the benefit of new marketing opportunities.

Ruth Connor, Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire said “We set ourselves a target for Lancashire Day 2013 - to get #Lancashireday trending in the UK and I’m very proud of the Marketing Lancashire team and grateful to our partners for making it happen. Events across the county, our Members and colleagues supported the campaign brilliantly and this massive exposure for the county would just not have happened without a vast amount of effort and creativity from everyone across Lancashire. It’s good to see VisitLancashire as a ‘Top Influencer’ on Twitter for the county” 

Images and support came from an array of well connected Tweeters including: BBC Radio Lancashire’s ‘Gilly’ @GillyLancs, who sent through a photo a day, during the BBC’s own Lancashire Week broadcasts;   974 Rock FM presenter and former Big Brother housemate, Luke Marsden @LukeMarsden;  Blackpool-born West End star, Jodie Prenger @MusicalMissy; Hot new NW band The Lottery Winners @TheLotWins;  As well as ‘Happy Lancashire Day’ mentions on BBC Radio 2 from Chris Evans and from Zoe Ball on BBC2’s Strictly - It Takes Two.

Conor Daunt, Commercial Director of Dewlay said “Lancashire Day was really special this year and we celebrated the best way we know at Dewlay – with cheese! We offered samples of our Traditional Lancashire cheese and spread the word about Lancashire Day in our cheese shop and visitor centre in Garstang, resulting in one of our busiest days of the year.  The additional PR and social media activity around “Say Cheese for Lancashire Day” brought customers to Dewlay in droves.”

A steady stream of customers also visited Bashall Barn Visitor Food Centre in the Ribble Valley. Managing Director Simon Barnes, said “We celebrated Lancashire Day with a special Lancashire Food Producers Dinner in the restaurant, which showcased the best that Lancashire has to offer.  It really was "Ready Steady Cook" for the Bashall chefs, as ingredients came in from the across the county and were rapidly turned into pies, hot pots and loads of traditional Lancastrian dishes.  It was washed down with some great Lancashire beer and finished off with a great selection of Lancashire cheese and a live Lancashire Band!  We said cheese for Lancashire day in style!”

The judges now have the task of considering 200 photographs submitted for the Say Cheese For Lancashire Day competition.  The judging panel will include representatives from Marketing Lancashire, Dewlay and Bashall Barn, as well as radio presenter Luke Marsden and winner of last year’s Say Cheese For Lancashire Day competition, food blogger Sue McKenzie. The winner will be announced before the end of the year.

Photo attached shows: Saying Cheese for Lancashire Day at the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2013, with Dewlay Celebration Cheese Cake LtoR: The Very Reverend Christopher Armstrong, Dean of Blackburn Cathedral, Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire Ruth Connor, The Independent Travel Editor and broadcaster Simon Calder.   Photo: Brian Slater

<<ENDS>>

Media enquiries: Anna Izza, Communications Manager, Marketing Lancashire

      01772 426 459 or anna@marketinglancashire.com

Notes to Editors

1.         Marketing Lancashire is the new name for Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board (from 1st April 2012)

Our activities in marketing and communications, commercial membership, `Welcome to Excellence` training and place marketing are all designed to grow the visitor economy and develop the destination as a great place to visit, live and work.

In 2012 Lancashire attracted 62 million visitors who contributed around £3.4 billion to the local economy and helped support 54,804 jobs.

2.         Lancashire Day* marks the date of November 27 in 1295, when King Edward I invited Lancashire’s first representatives to attend Parliament. Today this historic event is celebrated by the reading of proclamations, the participation in Lancastrian traditions and enjoyment of Lancashire food and drink.  The Friends of Real Lancashire organise events across Lancashire on Lancashire Day and promote the historic boundaries of the county – which covers a wider geographic area than the administrative areas established in 1974.

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