We love a challenge – so when Canwood Gallery got in touch to see if we’d be interested in helping to capture the nation’s attention and bring people to see art in the depths of rural Herefordshire, we say yes! It had already launched the year before, so we needed to find a new news hook.
It turned out that this was an art gallery with a fascinating back story. Retired arable farmer Stephen Dale began his life-long love affair with contemporary art when he made his first-ever visit to an art gallery whilst being treated for leukaemia in the 1970s, and later decided to set up the Canwood Gallery and Sculpture Park on the remainder of his land, to fulfil his mission to bring art ‘into the sticks’.
We felt this angle would be sure to attract some high level interest, so we carefully honed our pitch and hit the phones, relaying the possible filming opportunities to our close journalistic contacts.
Our enthusiasm for this story was shared and we scooped plenty of national interest – including BBC 1 Six O’Clock News, BBC Radio 4, BBC UK News Channel, BBC World Service Radio, BBC World TV, reaching tens of millions of people – plus the likes of The Huffington Post, The Independent and most recently The Guardian.
Our client said the coverage achieved ‘was beyond our wildest dreams’ and they attracted over 1000 visitors in the first 10 days, from as far afield as US, Canada and Australia, resulting in the extension of their summer exhibition by two weeks – happy client, happy us!