The Donkey Sanctuary wins Best Audience Campaign at awards event

PUBLISHED: 09:43 23 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:43 23 October 2020

Picture: The Donkey Sanctuary

Picture: The Donkey Sanctuary

Picture: The Donkey Sanctuary

An innovative event that brought The Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary’s residents ‘virtually’ into people’s homes during lockdown has scooped Best Audience Engagement Campaign at the prestigious 2020 UK Social Media Awards. ‘Sanctuary From Your Sofa’ gave people the opportunity to visit the charity’s main herd via Facebook.

Poitou donkeys at The Donkey Sanctuary.   Picture: Simon HornPoitou donkeys at The Donkey Sanctuary. Picture: Simon Horn

On Easter Sunday the webcast attracted 440,000 viewers, from Hawaii to New Zealand, 41,000 engagements and 8,300 comments.

This meant audiences watched 347,000 minutes of live donkey interaction on the day - equivalent to 232 days.

Most impressively, during a time when many parts of the charity sector were struggling with fundraising due to the Covid-19 lockdown, this award-winning event helped The Donkey Sanctuary to achieve a +110% year-on-year increase in online revenue on the event day.

‘Sanctuary From Your Sofa’ was also a finalist in two other categories: Most Impactful Social Media Innovation and the Best Low Budget Campaign.

Cheryl Martin, Director of Brand & Communications at The Donkey Sanctuary, said: “Bringing donkeys into people’s living rooms was a key objective of our digital strategy this year (before anyone ever uttered the word ‘lockdown’) and we’re all delighted with the success of our ‘Sanctuary From Your Sofa’.

“We were up against some big hitting brands and agencies across the three categories, including Samsung and the NHS England Covid-19 campaign: ‘Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives’. So, for us to have won is incredible and we couldn’t be more proud.”

‘Sanctuary From Your Sofa’ on Easter Sunday (April 12, 2020) was The Donkey Sanctuary’s first ever interactive virtual visitor experience.

The UK Social Media Awards aim to celebrate the very best in UK social media communications and reward the individuals, companies and organisations who are using online platforms to communicate in fresh and innovative ways.

The Donkey Sanctuary is a global leader for equine welfare, research and veterinary care operating programmes worldwide for animals working in agriculture, industry and transportation.

It has 10 sanctuaries around the UK and Europe, giving lifelong care to more than 7,000 donkeys and mules.

Find out how you can win the chance of adopting a Sidmouth donkey on page 12.


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