Hospitality & leisure;

PR;

Nestled in the heart of Northumberland, Matfen Hall is a true escape to a luxurious world. Set in over 300 acres of unique parkland, it is a place for couples, families and friends to relax and enjoy.

Rich in heritage, this luxury country hotel has a range of stunning rooms, a number of dining options, a beautiful spa and fitness suite and a challenging championship golf course.

Previous perceptions of the estate were a blend of outdated views on its offer, along with some media flack on hiking up wedding prices. A multi-million refurbishment from owners Walwick Estate Group in the summer of 2020, however, had pledged to upgrade and transform the property injecting renewed luxury to ensure its appeal was tailored to an affluent and discerning audience who are keen to experience the  finer things in life.

Challenges

While Matfen Hall is well established in the region, the estate  faced the challenge of redefining the brand both nationally and on an international scale as more than just a Northumberland hotel. The estate sought to position itself as a venue that makes no compromise on quality and luxury, while making it accessible for a range of visitors from across the globe. 

Despite its rich heritage and stunning location, the hotel needed to find a way to reach a broader audience and showcase its unique offering and refreshed identity to potential guests unaware of its transformation – both within the region, nationally and but internationally focusing on key markets including the wider Europe and the Middle East. Following a multi-million refurbishment from owners Walwick Estate Group, the transformation of the hotel and its renewed luxury needed to be effectively communicated with the right audiences via the right mediums.

Solution

Matfen Hall secured the service of Allies Group’s PR team to help identify the challenge and work out a strategic solution to ensure the brand personality of the country estate was communicated convincingly to the right audiences. 

The proposed approach consisted of several key components – crafting a compelling narrative for Matfen Hall was essential: This involved defining the hotel’s new direction, target clientele, and its prime position as a luxurious base, set in a special part of the United Kingdom, boasting impressive coast and countryside.

Regional Media Engagement: Recognising the importance of the local and regional audience, the PR team engaged with luxury quality trade and regional editors and writers to raise brand awareness with strategic press trips and press briefing, interviews, thought opinion pieces and releases. This helped to build the right sort of awareness, discussing renovation, awards, upgrades, new stunning offers and additional features, developing the narrative that focused on equality.

National and International Press Visits: One of the central components of the PR strategy was organising national press visits, targeting, dailies, lifestyle, luxury travel and hotel magazines, and sector-specific media. The goal was to position Matfen Hall as a luxury gateway for exploring the unspoiled beauty of Northumberland.

Influencers engagement: The PR team identified relevant influencers and hosted them for solo press visits to Matfen Hall for them to experience the stunning estate, raise awareness and generate a wider reach.

Key coverage

Revealed: 100 Best Places to Stay in the UK for 2024

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Matfen Hall become the first Five-Star hotel in Northumberland with AA rating

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Matfen Hall’s Exclusive “Working from Matfen” Retreat

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Results

Our comprehensive, structured and well-executed approach yielded significant results. Over the course of a year from June 2023 to June 2024, the PR campaign resulted in:

  • 161 pieces of quality press, trade, online and influencer coverage were secured 
  • The coverage received over 2.4M estimated views with 3,201 engagements, including likes, comments, and shares and an impressive 398M audience (combined total of publication wide audience figures).
  • Notable mentions in The Times, The Sunday Times, Salon Prive, and Luxury Travel Magazine garnered significant attention.
  • Relationships were established with influential travel writers, broadsheet publications, and luxury titles, including Spears magazine, Forbes Travel Press and Journal, The Scotsman  and The Telegraph, who all visited Matfen Hall and published glowing reviews. 
  • Matfen Hall was recognised in The Times and Sunday Times’ 100 Best Places To Stay In The UK 2024 feature. 
  • Anecdotally, Matfen Hall reported a substantial increase in enquiries for longer-term stays during the Times review weekend. 
  • More generally, initial Google Analytics work identified significant uplifts to online traffic on the Matfen Hall site, coinciding with key editorial coverage.

The sustained PR efforts to place Matfen Hall at the global stage also saw the estate: 

  • Receive a prestigious AA Five-Star rating, becoming the first and only five-star hotel in Northumberland.
  • Awarded the prestigious Condé Nast Johannes award  for interior design renovation excellence.

In conclusion, Matfen Hall’s collaboration with Allies Group has resulted in a successful PR campaign that significantly raised brand awareness both nationally and internationally

Our strategic approach of combining regional engagement with high-profile press visits has thus far effectively showcased the hotel’s unique offerings and its role as a luxurious UK estate, resulting in increased visibility and interest from potential guests.

OUR WORK
Matfen Hall

Mantra Thai

Metrocentre

Luxe magazine

Gainford Group

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