Promoting the benefits of United Utilities acres of nature

Background

As one of the largest corporate landowners in the UK, United Utilities has access to an incredible range of recreational sites across the North West. From scenic reservoirs to beautiful country parks, United Utilities wanted to enhance the visitor experience by providing a suite of content to help people enjoy the sites to their fullest. 

The goal was to use content to engage visitors by sharing more information about the specific sites, and what’s on offer. 

Key project information

In the early stages, a website audit was undertaken to assess what the current user journey looked like when people were exploring sites local to them, and how this could be improved. A report was shared with United Utilities, outlining opportunities to bring more relevant content to the forefront, and make it easier for people to find sites near them.

As part of the ‘discovery’ phase, we undertook calls with United Utilities’ Catchment Controllers (employees responsible for managing the sites), to better understand each site’s unique offering. These calls provided valuable insight and an in-depth viewpoint from those who spend most time at a site, and also have direct contact with locals and visitors.

BECG’s brief included testing a range of content formats across some key recreational locations to understand impact and engagement levels, before rolling out across all other locations. 

How we assisted

In developing content, we adopted a visitor first approach and to highlight the benefits of being in nature. We used storytelling, to deliver powerful and emotive messages in our video work and podcast content.

Our ‘hero’ video took an ‘epic’ approach, showcasing the breadth of sites on offer. We also showcased the vital role of Catchment Controllers using a ‘mini video’ series adopting a ‘day in the life of’ approach, which incorporated messaging aimed at positively changing visitor behaviour to better protect environment, from walking dogs on leads to preventing wildfires.

Launched during Mental Health Awareness Week, a podcast on Davyhulme Millenium Nature Reserve was released discussing wellbeing benefits of exploring the great outdoors. The podcast involved a mix of contributors and notably included Rugby League World Cup mental health ambassador Robbie Hunter-Paul and ITV’s Kerrie Gosney as guest speakers. Further podcasts are currently in production focusing on the themes of nature and partnership initiatives.

Outcome 

Part of our brief involved engagement with primary school and younger secondary school children. We worked with the United Utilities team to develop an educational pack focusing on the broad theme of water. The pack included fun activities such as walking maps, a children’s’ educational pack, video content and podcasts aimed at children and families visiting the sites so that could learn more about United Utilities and the role it plays.