The use of social media in promotion
A National Trust case study

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Page 1: Introduction

What do the words ‘National Trust’ mean to you? Historic houses? Gardens? An organisation that older people join? All of these are accurate, but they reflect only a small part of what the National Trust is and does. What you might not know is that the Trust’s responsibilities include over 350 historic houses, 255,000 hectares of land including gardens, mills, coastline, forests, farmland, moorland, islands, castles, nature reserves, villages, pubs and even a goldmine!

National Trust 17 Image 7The National Trust is a registered charity that looks after special places. It has over 4 million members and every year welcomes around 19 million visitors to its properties and special places, which are open to everyone.

As a not-for-profit organisation managed by a small Board of Trustees, it is completely independent of government. Its funding is generated entirely from membership fees, donations, legacies and revenue raised from its commercial activities such as its National Trust shops and catering business.

'For ever, for everyone'

The Trust attracts ‘customers’ of different types, young and old, including families, history lovers and nature lovers. Its mission is to grow the nation’s love of special places ‘For ever, for everyone’, so it aims to inspire as many people as possible in many different ways. These might include themed events to celebrate the UK’s history, guided walks across its estates and countryside to discover wildlife, open-air performances of Shakespeare and music festivals or firework displays.

Its properties regularly appear in film sets, such as in the recent Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter films. However, its interests extend far beyond just bricks and mortar. Much of the Trust’s work reflects its interest in getting people outdoors and closer to nature, as well as wider global and environmental issues, such as increasing energy efficiency, recycling and sustainability.

'Going local'  strategy

National Trust 17 Image 11The National Trust aims to increase membership by 25% to five million by 2020. To do this, it is adopting a strategy of 'Going local '. This aims to ensure the Trust can respond quickly to local issues on the ground and get more people involved as members, volunteers or employees. It will also put the Trust at the heart of communities so that everyone in the UK can feel like a member.

This case study looks at how the National Trust is now adopting a new strategy and modern marketing techniques to excite a younger audience, generate new members and enhance its position as an employer with young people.

Top image ©National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Lower image ©Mischief PR

National Trust | The use of social media in promotion