Ordnance Survey: Get Outside

This summer, Ordnance Survey launched their ‘Get Outside’ campaign, with the aim to encourage the public to spend more time outside and enjoy the great outdoors. As part of the initiative, Ordnance Survey pledged to publish one million walking routes on their website in order to help Brits to make the most of their local areas and using the campaign as a platform to encourage members of the public to make their own pledges, from walking the dog, getting more fresh air or exercising out in the open.

To pique the interest of broadcast media owners, markettiers advised Ordnance Survey to commission research looking into British attitudes towards walking and spending time outdoors. The study revealed that we’re a ‘walk shy’ nation with a startling 25% of us unwilling to walk further than 15 minutes to get to a destination. This became the headline for the news story for approaching broadcast media. Then, to maximise coverage potential three spokespeople were enlisted to speak to broadcast media based in two locations; Wildlife TV presenter Steve Backshall, climber Bonita Norris and extreme adventurer Sean Conway. 

The careful management of the three spokespeople and their time was vital to the success of the campaign with busy interview schedules secured in Southampton and London. On the morning of the campaign launch, Steve Backshall began the day with a sofa-slot interview on Sky Sunrise, whilst Bonita and Sean participated in morning interviews with broadcasters including BBC Lancashire, BBC Tees and Radio Yorkshire down-the-line from Southampton. Using a small gap in the interview schedule, the markettiers team also recorded a short audio feature to make the most of Bonita and Sean’s time – this would later be sent to radio stations who were unable to take a live interview. After Sky Sunrise, Steve headed back to the markettiers studios to do interviews with stations such as BBC Devon, BBC Manchester and Pirate whilst Sean and Bonita took part in video content filming. Owing to the success of the broadcast outreach there were also drop-in requests from a number of other stations throughout the day, including BBC Oxford and BBC Solent.

To engage with Ordnance Survey’s online audience, video content was produced to be hosted on their social media channels and website. This involved markettiers film crew on location in Southampton to capture Sean and Bonita visiting a local primary school, where children were pinning their pledges to a giant pledge map. The crew also followed the action of a branded motorized sofa which was driving around the local area and attended an event in the centre of Southampton where local media had been invited to for interview and photo opportunities. A second film crew was also arranged to capture comments from Steve in London which was later added to the video in the editing stage.

Overall, the campaign was a success in terms of execution and excellent PR results. markettiers secured over 150 items of coverage with all the spokespeople delivering quality interviews which included key messaging. The audio feature with Bonita and Steve was sent to stations that were unable to record content on the day, further boosting coverage following the launch. The video was placed on OS’ Youtube channel during the launch week, in order to maintain engagement in the campaign and create a buzz on their social channels, as well as drive traffic to their website. There was particularly strong pick up of the campaign on social media, with over 100,000 impressions on Monday (up from an average of 25,000), 150 retweets and support shown from Living Streets, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Wessex Hospital, Stoke Council and many others.

“The launch of Get Outside has been very exciting and the media exposure and awareness really puts the new campaign in a good position for the year ahead. The research findings which showed the ‘Walk-shy’ nation provided a strong press hook and discussion areas for the three OS champions – Steve, Bonita and Sean. On the launch day of the campaign it was challenge to manage activities in multiple locations, however with the support and expertise provided by markettiers we successfully delivered a range of interviews, outreach activities and PR opportunities to promote all the key values of the campaign.”

Robert Andrews, Head of Media at Ordnance Survey