Based on this, it was agreed that the endorsements and experiences of past winners and finalists would be particularly powerful in driving more quality entries. Information on the Prize would then be shared within their networks of contacts, already interested in environmental projects.
To do this, we approached past winners and finalists to act as ambassadors for the Prize, developing a number of up-to-date case studies focusing on the impact of the Prize on their own initiatives and the goals they have achieved since participating. Not only do Prize finalists gain exposure for being shortlisted, they also receive Prize money which can directly contribute to achieving their goals and aspirations.
With more social media users seeking engaging video content, we also increased the use of video with updates from previous winners. This proved very successful, and we will look to expand on this for future.
Website sessions across September and October hit 97,880. This was a rise of 74% from the same time last year and underlies the success of the promotional campaign.
With this revised strategy in place, entries for the 2017 Prize reached a record high, with 859 entries - a 70% increase on the previous year. Looking closer, the international reach of the Prize also increased, with this year seeing a rise in entries from The Americas.
Mearns & Gill also manages the smooth running of the St Andrews Prize website and this year saw an increase in website sessions, across September and October, of 74% compared with the previous year - correlating with the 70% rise in entries.
Website sessions from Social channels have also risen dramatically this year to 22,458, up from 7,225 last year. A new posting strategy was put in place which helped drive this increase, as well as improved sharing and promotion by the ambassadors and support network.
Find out more about Mearns & Gill’s work with the St Andrews Prize here.