Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Into The Inkpot for local visitors

Engaging new publication launches to educate and inspire local visitors.

The challenge

As a charity with a big presence in Stratford-upon-Avon, community engagement and local outreach have always been important to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

But its status as a heritage tourism destination can overshadow the role it plays in local life. For many local residents, the Trust is part of life’s backdrop. In 2019, our brief was to bring its contribution into the limelight and give local visitors a reason to sample what it has to offer.

We needed an approach that would bring it into the foreground and capture Stratford’s attention and imagination.

The solution

The answer was to launch a free publication – The Inkpot – to land on doorsteps twice a year, at strategic intervals.

We gathered relevant and compelling local stories, features from Trust staff and Stratford-upon-Avon residents, and exclusive discounts and offers, all in one place. The content expresses the Trust’s understanding that there’s more to local life than Shakespeare, and celebrates what’s on offer for local people – in a more engaging format than a straightforward brochure of events. It also offers opportunities for readers to interact and get involved, whether that’s seeing an Instagram post featured, or entering a competition.

The Trust has an excellent track record of sharing extra stories in specialist fields around its conservation and education work on Shakespeare’s works, life and times. But all that happens online, in specialist blogs for specialist-interest audiences. This was the first time road-testing a broader, more general interest approach, and distributing it in print.

The tabloid format is accessible and flexible, with standout on the doormat next to other free literature, dominated as it is by magazine-style releases. It immediately sets an expectation of a serialised publication, and offers opportunities to play with the design language for a varied and visually engaging read. It also easily accommodates partner advertising, and ads promoting the Trust’s cafe and retail offer.

The Inkpot does a brilliant job of celebrating Stratford’s rich past and vibrant present, placing the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust at the centre of the community it calls home.

The Inkpot helps us to show Stratford-upon-Avon residents the important part they and their town play in the stories we tell and the work we do – some they’re familiar with, some they may not have heard about. And it’s an opportunity to introduce more of our incredibly talented and knowledgeable people, many of whom are locals themselves.

David Wright Head of Marketing, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust