Lion Rescue from Yorkshire Wildlife Park
In September 2009, Yorkshire Wildlife Park began a campaign to rescue 13 lions from poor conditions in Oradea Zoo, Romania.
In partnership with the News of the World a campaign was launched to raise £150,000 towards the rescue and raise awareness of the campaign. Supporting PR was sent out to the national, regional and specialist press. Social networking sites were also used extensively as part of the communication programme.
By October over £100,000 had been raised and the rescue was confirmed. The PR was complicated because of the messages – simple and hardhitting to maximise campaign results and then using further opportunities to tell the more complex messages inherent in a rescue of animals from another zoo in a country with very many problems in its zoo community.
A TV special was negotiated with Inside Out who filmed the progress of the rescue from the start. On the day of the arrival there was national and regional TV, radio and press lined up at Doncaster Airport to see the lions flown in courtesy of Jet 2.com The lions progress continued to be monitored by press around the country until they were released into their reserve in May 2010, when there was a significant TV, radio and press attendance.
That evening the website had 149,000 unique hits and between 5 and 6 had more hits than the trainline.com. Over £1m advertising value equivalent was achieved from September 09 – May 2010 (source Durrants) which using the Institute of PR’s editorial value equivalent x3 equals £3m coverage. YWP is at the beginning of July performing 93% over budgeted footfall.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park
WINNER of BIAZA Award 2010 for Best public relations project