Change, challenge and award-winning campaigns

Published : Tue 24th Sep Author : Clare Mullin

“How can we reach out to people who wouldn’t normally associate themselves with us? How can we show how relevant we are to them, while still staying close to our loyal supporters? We’re going through a huge organisational change to ensure that people, both in and out of the National Trust, understand exactly who we are and what we stand for. And as Director of Brand and Marketing, that’s my big challenge. It’s my job to get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet and to show how important developing a strong brand and effective marketing is to our overall vision. It’d be impossible to change people’s misperceptions of us if our messaging was old and out of touch. We’re working hard to show people, through all of our creative and marketing output, how important we are to them.

I believe that great creative ideas work, and our recent marketing campaigns have shown that. 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ and, of course, our ‘I love’ Special Places have been huge successes in many ways. Our work is standing up and being recognised in the national marketing arena, and winning high profile awards! Which is great, but it’s about so much more than awards for me. It’s about how our branding and marketing initiatives are generating engagement, support and financial return to sustain the great work we do. Some people think of the National Trust as a bit of a ‘sleeping giant’ that’s completely set in its ways, but I think it can safely be said the giant has now woken up. We need people to see us in the right light. There’s a real focus on innovation and my team is genuinely enthusiastic and forward-thinking because they really care about the work they do and our future.

What’s next? Right now, we want to get more children outside playing and enjoying nature and the fresh air, so we’re reaching out to families. In fact, we’ve played a leading part in a new documentary that’s coming out in October, all about the impact of our children not spending enough time outdoors. This ties in so closely with everything we believe in, and it’s exactly the sort of message we need to get out to the nation. Challenging yes, but a great time to work here in Brand and Marketing. The whole organisation is changing and we’re at the heart of that change. I give my team the freedom to be creative, the power to run with their ideas and the support they need to make a huge difference, not just to our marketing activity, but to the organisation as a whole.”