The Garden House, Marple
The Garden House is a community farm and registered charity based in Marple, Cheshire. They cater to those with complex needs, as well as being open to the public seven days a week. They are home to a wide variety of animals, and provide families, organisations and educational establishments with an outdoor space in the Cheshire countryside. You can view their website here.
The objectives of working with The Garden House were to:
Grow their online social media presence
Create regular press releases regarding upcoming events and points of interest
Build longstanding relationships with local media outlets and bloggers
Maintain their website
Ensure The Garden House had a visible online presence, including being featured on ‘Cheshire Days Out’ websites, as an example
Arrange and plan events to publicise The Garden House
With The Garden House being a registered charity, it was important to make sure we acted within the appropriate guidelines and fully researched what other charities similar to The Garden House were doing in terms of their online presence. It was also important to consider legal aspects of our social media pages, and also ensure that the content we produced was suitable for a wide audience.
The strategy involved:
Creating an easy to understand social media style guide for all volunteers at the charity to have and to understand.
Connecting online with multiple news outlets and bloggers, as well as reaching out to local businesses and parents to encourage them to come and visit The Garden House, and also to hopefully work with us.
Creating a media ‘hitlist’, listing a number of valuable contacts in the local press world, as well as local organisations and establishments who would be able to help ‘spread the word’ about who The Garden House is and what they provide to the local community.
After just six weeks of working with The Garden House, I had provided two press releases for them and sent them to a wide range of local news outlets and bloggers. This resulted in The Garden House being featured on Manchester TV (you can view the interview here).
From the work that I carried out, The Garden House were also featured in a popular article in the Manchester Evening News which outlines the top farms and petting zoos in Greater Manchester (you can view the article here).
Furthermore, The Garden House’s presence on social media, in particular Facebook, ensured that their followers felt part of The Garden House’s journey, and people were kept up to date with the goings on at the urban farm. It also ensured that The Garden House was being constantly advertised, and was prevalent in people’s minds when thinking of where to take the family for a day out in Marple. You can view their Facebook pages here and here, and view their Instagram page here.
In terms of events, one of the most high profile events was the ‘Police Dogs and Horses’ day at the farm, where we invited the Greater Manchester Horse and K9 unit to the farm for guests to come and see. Tickets for this event sold out in under an hour due to high-level advertising to our target audience.