Local to Global: ‘Discover the UK’s UNESCO Sites’ map campaign evaluation

Liam Smyth & Alison Smedley      –      November 14, 2023      –      12 min read

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Over Summer 2023, the Local to Global project commissioned and promoted a new map, which, for the first time, showcases all 58 land-based UNESCO designations in the British Isles. The map was co-created and co-promoted with all of our sites, which demonstrates the power of a network in driving groundswell and engagement with UNESCO values.

The UK National Commission for UNESCO are pleased to release the evaluation of digital engagement with the ‘Discover the UK’s UNESCO Sites’ campaign. The project was delivered in partnership with Visit Britain and supported by GREAT and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players. The centrepiece of the campaign was a brand new illustrated map designed by the Birmingham-based cartographer, Tom Woolley. The map highlighted all 58 land-based UNESCO designations in the British Isles through illustrated depictions of iconic landmarks and place names.

The UK National Commission for UNESCO commissioned a team of designers and creatives to bring the map to life as an interactive digital version; an animated short film flyover of the map; a series of social media posts and stories; a limited print run of 25,000 hardcopies of the map distributed to sites and translated versions of the map in the seven priority languages of Visit Britain; Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Welsh.

The purpose of the Discover the UK’s UNESCO Sites campaign is to raise awareness across the population of the British Isles and overseas visitors about the 58 land-based UNESCO designations in the UK (Biosphere Reserves, Creative Cities, Global Geoparks and World Heritage Sites). The map is designed to encourage more visits to these sites, in particular the lesser known designations.

The four key goals and headline achievements

  • Deliver an original product and promotional campaign that encourages people to visit and explore the UK UNESCO network

At least 30 independent press articles were published on the campaign, driving users to the interactive map which received 36,397 total views from 27,387 individuals. Average daily visitors to the UKNC website (1,411) rocketed 600% compared to the four weeks prior (234).

  • Leverage the power of the network to maximise groundswell and interest in the map across social media

64.4% of visits to the digital map came from organic social media or webpage referrals, which suggests that the network played a vital role in driving interest and engagement with the map. The accompanying social media campaign had a minimum 2,125,136 impressions worldwide resulting in 19,794 total engagements across UKNC and key partner channels. The majority of the 52,955 viewers watched 96% of the short film. This is a conservative estimate taken from data collected by the project lead and primary partners and the overall reach is likely to be greater than this.

  • Especially promote the map to international audiences including priorities languages of Visit Britain

The UKNC worked with a translation agency and designers to produce multilingual maps, press releases and social media posts in the seven priority languages of Visit Britain. As a result, 38.4% of digital map users were from outside the UK while 27.1% accessed the map in a first language other than English.

  • Encourage deeper understanding of the diversity of UNESCO sites in the UK network

2,725 click throughs from the main interactive map hosted on the UKNC website to individual sites webpages. The top 20 most popular sites demonstrated a good range of geographies and designation
types outside of capital cities. There was an average engagement time of 43 seconds on the UKNC website and 113 second on the National Lottery Heritage Fund website, while 52,955 viewers of the short film on average watched 44 seconds or 96% of the film. This suggests high quality engagement with the digital map.

For the full evaluation report and slide deck, please download here ⬇️ .

The Local to Global project is made possible with The National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players.

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