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Irish Landmark Trust

Irish Landmark Trust - Restoring the past and investing in the future

Irish Landmark Trust was established in 1992 with the core purpose of saving Ireland’s ‘at risk’ built heritage. The role of Irish Landmark involves conserving and restoring endangered historic buildings and then giving them a new viable use as holiday homes.  This not alone saves these wonderful heritage buildings but also allows them to be enjoyed by present and future generations.
With its function in preserving the past, Irish Landmark Trust was keen to look to the very latest in communication and social networking technologies to engage with its audience, build a new market and secure its future.
Irish Landmark Trust has had a website, www.irishlandmark.com, for many years but established a presence on social networks in the last two years.
Dorothy-Ellen White of Irish Landmark said “We've had a website for a long time but we wanted a more informal and fun way of communicating with our guests and supporters. We found Facebook and Twitter to be great ways of informally discussing our buildings and projects and of pointing out interesting features or drawing attention to things like the fact that we welcome dogs to most of our properties. It's also a great way to interact with like minded organisations and groups. We can support each other by sharing stories and retweeting news and offers. This all generates business for us”
By using these media, Irish Landmark Trust has increased support in general, increased awareness of the Irish Landmark Trust name and its function and increased bookings for holidays in restored properties. Social media has proven to be a very effective new tool to inform followers about developments, new fundraising initiatives and new properties. Since bringing the business online there has been a significant increase in bookings and take up rate on special offers.
"We haven't employed new staff but we have noticed that restored properties that are new to the market are gaining bookings more quickly than before. This is solely due to our online marketing activities and as we don't have a large marketing budget, we can do it all online!"
The properties we manage each have a House Manager who looks after the property, welcomes guests and does the house keeping. Without bookings, this position would not be viable so I think that for the local communities where we have restored properties there has been a positive knock-on effect" Dorothy-Ellen said. While Irish Landmark Trust has not increased staff as a consequence of going online, the resulting increased bookings has had a direct effect in the local areas where the properties are located. “The surrounding area gains from extra trade in shops, restaurants etc and the local community has a newly restored property which adds to the attractiveness of the locality, adding to a sense of pride.” Dorothy-Ellen said.
Asked about how Irish Landmark got the business online, they initially got a web designer to build the website but established their social networking sites themselves, learning from each other as they went along. “We started out not knowing a lot but by looking at what other similar Twitter and Facebook pages were doing, we tweaked and changed our profile and offering for a while before we got the combination right. We now have a manageable number of followers on both and manage the content to cater for the different audiences we have on each”. Irish Landmark Trust just celebrated achieving its 2000th follower on Twitter and there are almost the same number on Facebook.
So where do they go from here? “We have lots more to achieve in terms of future restorations of buildings and our online presence is going to play a major part in getting us to that point. We are looking at developing an app, a blog and to expand our reach using YouTube and other mediums. We are also looking at using crowdfunding to help raise money for these projects as well as building on our existing successful online presence. The future is bright for us and we look forward to building and growing both online and with new projects around the country.”
Website & online shop: http://www.irishlandmark.com
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