The Fitzwilliam Museum's groundbreaking Endless Forms exhibition has been recognized for its innovative digital PR campaign in the East Anglia CIPR PRide awards. Run by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), the PRide Awards recognise public relations success and achievement across the UK and its regions.
Gold winners for the 'Best Use of Digital PR' and Silver award-holders in the 'Not-for-profit campaign' category, both accolades recognized the Fitzwilliam's outstanding achievement in not only raising awareness of the exhibition, but also in increasing online engagement with members of the public.
The Museum's 2009 blockbuster exhibition - attracting over 90,000 visitors - was also a finalist in the 'Best Tourism Event' category in the recent East of England Tourism (EET) 2010 Regional Enjoy England Awards for Excellence.
The campaign for the exhibition Endless Forms: Charles Darwin, Natural Science and the Visual Arts was launched on Darwin's 200th birthday on 12 February 2009 and was accompanied by a wide variety of participative online opportunities.
The web resources created by the small in-house team focused on promoting debate around Darwin, evolutionary science and art. Online visitors were given facilities to post their own material, create discussions and access a range of exclusive material relating to the exhibition.
A virtual exhibition provided additional insights into many of the Endless Forms themes and exhibits, and a downloadable audio-guide was also on offer. Seventeen podcasts were produced in-house, made available through i-Tunes U, featuring leading experts from across the fields of science and art, including an interview with Nobel Prize winning British geneticist and cell biologist Sir Paul Nurse.
Interactive projects included Evolve! the first Darwin online book-group, a Flickr challenge for members of the public to submit their own images inspired by Endless Forms, and Endlessly Forming, a series of behind-the-scenes photos submitted by the exhibition's curators.
In total, of the exhibition's 90,000 visitors, 35,000 had joined in with the online activity.
Fiona Brown, Head of Marketing and Press at The Fitzwilliam Museum commented: "This is a wonderful accolade for us as Endless Forms provided rich material and opportunity for our first digital PR campaign. The experience is helping to pave the way for using digital resources in a comprehensive way for major exhibitions and projects in the future and we hope the public will continue to enjoy our online offering through virtual exhibitions, podcasts and social media channels."
To discover all the Fitzwilliam Museum's digital activities visit the Online Resources page.