Project Description

When the 2018 May Day event sees a record breaking 10,000 people head to the showground, you know you’ve passed with flying colours!

The Ilkley Carnival has been part of our CSR commitment for eight years and we manage the work on a voluntary basis. Each year the campaign aims to engage with the community, promote awareness in West Yorkshire, raise money for local organisations and also to increase footfall.

Social media was at the heart of the 2018 campaign and included daily posts across Facebook and Twitter which boasted an array of ticket competitions, quizzes and interactions with local businesses. From November 2017 to May 2018, Twitter impressions increased by 650%.

As a result of our social activity, we entered the Charted Institute of Public Relations annual PRide Yorkshire and Lincolnshire awards. This recognises the work businesses do across the country. At the awards ceremony in November, we took home the gold trophy for Best Use of Social Media.

As a community-centred project, local media relations were vital. Across the initiative, we also worked with local organisations and produced fourteen press releases. An audience of 26.2m was reached across regional titles. £15k was raised through ticket sales and sponsorship which were promoted across all social platforms.

Key results:

  • One out of eight people in Ilkley follow the Ilkley Carnival Twitter account
  • Twitter impressions on the day reached over 13,000 with total engagements reaching almost 1,000
  • Exceeded the objective of 1,000 Facebook likes, reaching 1,128 in June 2018
  • 186% increase in Facebook post engagements from January 2017 to June 2018
  • A whopping 93 press releases since 2012
  • 50,022,683 audience reach since 2012


“With a clear brief and straightforward objectives, Approach PR carried out effective research. They got a clear picture of the situation and used this to inform the campaign planning. There was a clear strategy which had been shaped by the research. The judges were impressed by the way partnership working was used to amplify the reach of the campaign. The measurement and evaluation looked at input, outputs, outcomes and outtakes and showed how the campaign had clearly delivered against its brief and objectives.”

Chartered Institute of Public Relations, PRide Yorkshire and Lincolnshire awards

“Approach has been handling PR and social media for Ilkley Carnival over the last 8 years. In that time, we’ve gone from a loss-making position to one that consistently generates substantial profits for the community.  Approach are proactive and commercially aware. They’re social media savvy which has allowed us to reach well beyond our old catchment area.  An added benefit is they are nice people to work with!”

Andrew Stacey, Ilkley Carnival committee chairman, Ilkley Carnival