Launch of a manor house transformed into a restaurant with boutique rooms

Following the acquisition of Burley Manor by New Forest Hotels, MD Michaela Lisle set about its £1.7m refurbishment into a style-conscious destination restaurant with boutique rooms.

With a build and marketing schedule spanning just 20 weeks, Polymedia and the development team – MD, interior designer, web designers, marketeers and executive chef – had to take the vision for the brand and develop and convey its essence as the vision became the reality.

Capturing the key messages for this new brand and communicating those to newly-appointed staff, customers and stakeholders was a challenging task. A fully-integrated campaign was implemented harnessing the power of online, offline and marketing communication to launch, position, promote and sell the new Burley Manor as a restaurant and boutique rooms in the beautiful New Forest. 

With the commercial imperative to generate awareness, engagement and bookings in the very tight time frame, digital channels, with their capacity to convey the immediate were absolutely key.

Empowered to develop online channels with minimum input from a client managing a major build schedule, the account team knew that planning combined with speed, commerciality and brand understanding were all essential for this fast-paced launch campaign.

Social media and e-communications were paramount, and needed to be built from scratch. A strong social media advertising strategy helped capture the attention of decision makers strongly influenced by Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. A campaign including ‘in-the-moment’ posts, live from Burley Manor, and planned content to incorporate key messages was created to encourage engagement and secure loyalty via these platforms.

A ‘journal’-style blog captured the latest developments, generated excitement about the brand and acted as a short-term web presence engaging consumers in the story of the transformation.

A recruitment campaign sat alongside the consumer activity, and messaging developed for recruitment supported staff communications across the group.

Outstanding results

Burley Manor’s social media platforms blossomed in the 20 weeks prior to opening and grew further in the months following the launch – with thousands of followers and regular engagement, spreading positive news about the brand.

Print coverage included features in The Times, Jersey Evening Post, Britain Magazine, Bride, Delicious, Swindon Advertiser, Independent on Sunday, The Sun, The Telegraph, You & Your Wedding, House Magazine, Lux Magazine and Wedding Ideas Magazine.

The revamp was as much about the food as it was the interiors, giving us more scope for selling the brand to the likes of John Lewis Magazine and Homes & Gardens. Given that the refurbishment focused on connecting the natural landscape with the interior, publications like The Great Outdoors and BBC Countryfile Magazine were natural choices for features and advertisements too.

Bloggers previewing, reviewing and loving this restaurant and rooms included, Travel Supermarket, Champagne & Chutney, Dancing Dandelions, Destination Delicious, Girl Lost in the City, Home & Horizon, Lady of Leisure, Luxury Columnist, The Travel Journo, Right Up My Street, All That I’m Eating, Cultural Voyager, Wanderlust Chloe and WJ London.

Get in touch