Plymouth City Council: Launch of The Box Museum

This PR campaign is currently shortlisted for a PRCA Award in the Public Sector Category

The Brief 

Midas was asked by Plymouth City Council to launch The Box, the largest museum and art gallery space in the South West of England, part of a £200 million transformation of the City of Plymouth, Plymouth City Council invested £42million into the launch of The Box supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England. Midas worked with The Box from November 2019 – November 2021, including securing coverage for a COVID-delayed launch in 2020 and post Covid reopening in 2021. Alongside promoting individual exhibitions, Midas were tasked with ensuring messaging around The Box and the cost of its development were received positively by local residents and that locals felt like The Box was “for them”.

The brief also included securing coverage for major art exhibitions, installations and openings over 24 months including: Making It with Kehinde Whiley, Leonor Antunes and Anthony Gormley, Mayflower 400: Legend & Legacy, Songlines with National Museum Australia, the reopening of the historical Elizabethan House¸ the restoration of the Naval Figureheads, as well as exhibitions with Sir Joshuah Reynolds and installation artist Camille Walala.

 

The Work 

In 2021, Midas worked with The Box from March – November on the post-COVID reopening in May 2021. With the impact of Covid meaning several date changes for the 2020 opening of The Box 2021 re-opening, Midas worked closely with The Box team, reacting quickly and nimbly to shift timelines while still keeping journalists engaged. In 2021 Midas ran individual PR campaigns for the re-opening in May, Elizabethan House, Reynolds, Camille Walala, The Little Box and Songlines in partnership with the National Museum Australia.

The Results

The Midas 2020 launch campaign resulted in an audience reach of 53million, AVE of £6million, 1,632 individual pieces of coverage and 167 million page impressions.  We secured over 55 pieces of national newspaper coverage including multiple stories in The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and New York Times and broadcast coverage with BBC News at 10, Today Programme, Front Row, Five Live, Channel 5 News, ITV News, BBC World Service, Voice of America, NBC, Euronews, Reuters, Association Press and the Press Association.  Due to the pandemic in 2020, The Box was open for a total of 52 days and our PR campaign drove 33,000 visitors to the museum.

Our 2021 PR campaign for The Box secured 794 articles, with an audience reach of 169.6million an AVE of £3.5million, including over 160 pieces of regional coverage.  Over 42 pieces of national newspaper coverage securing coverage including The Guardian, Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Express, i Newspaper, and The Times. For Songlines Midas secured 150 pieces of coverage an Audience Reach of 28.82million people, AVE of 1.5million. Securing coverage with contemporary arts media including Frieze, The Art Newspaper, Artnet, Apollo, Museum Crush, Museum Journal, Museums Association, Arts Professional, Art Quarterly and Art Industry as well as History media including BBC History Magazine, History Now, History Revealed Magazine, British Archaeology, History Today Magazine and Wanderlust.

The PR campaign led to more than 100,000 visitors to The Box in the first six months of opening, the highest footfall for a museum outside of London, as well as shortlisting’s for more than 10 national awards,  including Apollo’s International Museum Opening of the Year. While our PR campaign for The Figureheads captured the hearts of the nation with 75 pieces of national coverage resulting in a post lockdown visit from HRH Princess Anne in 2021.

Tudor Evans OBE, Leader of Plymouth City Council

This is such an exciting moment for the city and it’s fantastic to be able to work with Midas whose work has already welcomed more than 30,000 visitors in the first three months of opening, and the feedback has been amazing.

Tudor Evans OBE, Leader of Plymouth City Council