May Day saw the return of Ilkley Carnival with a fantasy and fiction approach. The force was with this year’s carnival as a magical spell was cast over all in one town in a memorable fashion.

The entire community embraced this year’s carnival, with local shops getting in on the action by turning their storefront into enchanting window displays and Ilkley’s heroic children marched in the legendary parade.

The carnival is organised entirely by a valiant committee of volunteers from local businesses who contribute their time, skills and contacts to put together the annual event. All 2015 profits will be split between the four local schools chosen as primary beneficiaries and other local causes.

An essential element of planning Ilkley Carnival, and ensuring its success, is spreading the word to potential supporters, sponsors and visitors. That is where public relations comes in and that is where our work began!

Each year we support Ilkley Carnival as part of our corporate social responsibility commitment, meaning the national and regional media relations and management of the carnival’s social media profiles is undertaken without budget.

For the fourth year, we sponsored the shop window competition, awarding the winning store with 10 hours of free PR.  Alice in Wonderland claimed first prize this year, the second win for Ilkley’s Nora’s Interiors & Gifts since 2012.

The increase in online engagement and a higher attendance since 2013 is proof enough that CSR activity can not only increase the feel-good factor within a business, but also raise the profile and contribute towards the success of the cause.

CSR is an important and often forgotten component of PR; businesses often do donate to charity, do take part in challenges and do give their time to local causes – they just forget to tell anyone!

If you too are shy about sharing your success then remember it’s not just your name you’re shouting about. The charity, cause or project also gets a mention which in turn, increases their chances of further support.

Ilkley really was the place to be this May bank holiday and we were delighted to be part of Ilkley Carnival once again, especially as we got to ride the parade in a vintage wedding car!

See you next year…