A publicity stunt which saw a plague doctor prowl the streets of Chester has earned a social enterprise a top industry award.
Big Heritage is celebrating after scooping the gong for Best Event, Stunt or Launch at the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) DARE awards for its City Walls visitor attraction Sick to Death.
To mark its launch, the team worked with PR and social media agency No Brainer to create the mystery plague doctor – wearing the notorious beak like mask.
Residents took to Twitter and Facebook to share grainy images and videos of the cloaked figure lurking in popular areas of the city.
The city night crawler, dubbed the Chester Plague Doctor, landed regional and national press coverage with ITV, BBC, the Mirror, UNILad and the Daily Express speculating on the spooky sightings shortly before it was announced to be a stunt to help launch the attraction.
The stunt generated thousands of visitors for the attraction in its opening weeks and was crowned the region’s best at the prestigious PRCA DARE Awards.
The campaign beat competition from an eight-strong shortlist, which included nationally recognised brands such as Ferrari, Chicago Town and Rugby Super League.
Dean Paton, managing director at Big Heritage, joined the No Brainer team at a glitzy awards ceremony at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Manchester.
He said: “At Big Heritage, we work hard to engage local museums, schools and communities with our region’s world class history and we were keen for the launch of Sick to Death to make waves. It certainly did that.
“We couldn’t have asked for better results in terms of generating media profile and public interest… and we’ve not finished yet. All I’ll say for now is watch this space!”
Gary Jenkins, director and co-founder of No Brainer, added: “The launch of Sick to Death gave us an amazing opportunity to be totally creative with our ideas, and we’re grateful to Dean and the team at Big Heritage team for letting us take such an unorthodox approach to the campaign!
“It shows the power of social media to drive awareness and interest in organisations and attractions…. sometimes all it takes to achieve results is some creativity and a random fancy dress costume!”
For more information about Sick to Death, click here.