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A planned approach to communications helps create opportunities for coverage – journalists love a news hook. The official start of autumn was a case in point for Painshill, a beautiful 18th-century landscaped garden in Surrey.

As the seasons changed and leaves began to turn from green to gold, Polymedia put together an autumn pack for broadcast media, outlining the history of the park, its stunning locations and ideal areas for filming.

ITV snapped up the offer to come and broadcast from Painshill – initially as a location for the evening weather report. However, upon learning more about the unique garden and its rich history, a one-minute weather report became a six-minute package which saw presenter Sally William tour the park’s attractions – including its unique man-made crystal grotto.

While on location she interviewed staff, led by Director of Painshill Paul Griffiths, found out more about how an army of volunteers had supported the charity throughout the pandemic, and even tasted Painshill’s own gin, made from the contents of its kitchen garden.

The result was money-can’t-buy coverage for the park, reaching ITV News London’s eight million viewers – a key regional audience – and making them aware that Painshill was very much open to visitors.

The TV coverage was part of an ongoing Polymedia campaign for Painshill aimed at growing its audience reach and driving visitor numbers. Painshill was recently the beneficiary of a £250,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to help combat the financial impact of Covid-19, which supported its costs for four months – but the park relies on ticket admission income for its continued survival.

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