Public awareness & crisis management
June 29, 2016

Positive Messaging

Positive Messaging

East Hoathly and Halland Carnival Society

East Hoathly and Halland Carnival Society

Background: East Hoathly and Halland Carnival Society regularly attracts around 8,000 visitors to a tiny village in the Sussex Weald for a unique commemoration that has been held the night before Remembrance Sunday every year since 1918. The event is also a key moneyraiser for local good causes.

Organisers had already taken steps to reduce traffic pressure on local roads, but just weeks before the 2016 event, police and emergency services advised that tougher parking restrictions would be introduced, which could substantially reduce visitor numbers.

Brief: Faced with very limited timeframe, the Society engaged Lea Graham Associates to mount an urgent media campaign, advising spectators that they would need to find alternative means of transport to the event. The challenge was to change behaviour without discouraging attendance.

LGA created a story around local artist Keith Pettit, who sculpts the annual bonfire figure, adding visual interest to what could have been a dull and negative message, and mounted a four-week-long social and print media campaign, encouraging visitors to car share or arrange to be dropped off and collected later.

Result: The story had strong take up from newspaper and web editors, radio stations, Facebook and Twitter and event and family websites.

The Society reported that the bonfire was just as well attended but even those parking issues experienced in previous years had been successfully eliminated. Mission accomplished!

8000 Visitors

Zero Congestion