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New marketing campaign for Port Arthur Historic Sites


The Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA) has launched a striking new marketing campaign that aims to have a more direct and emotional impact on its target audiences, under the banner ‘Amazing stories, epic history’.

Central to the campaign is a new series of eight print advertisements, each focussing on a different historical figure from the Port Arthur Historic Sites. Each advertisement offers a quote by or about the character, and a tantalising snippet of their story, as well as highlighting the particular part of the Historic Sites and the visitor experience relevant to that character.

The reader or viewer is encouraged to ‘discover more for themselves’, in particular by visiting the Port Arthur Historic Sites website. A new website, currently in the final stages of development, will feature a dynamic link to the characters and their stories on its home page. Visitors can click through and read more or download profiles giving more details of their history and the visitor experiences available at the Port Arthur Historic Sites.

A fully Tasmanian creative team

A hand-picked team worked to develop the communications strategy and then create the communications. Consultant David Inches worked with PAHSMA staff to develop a Marketing Communication Strategy. This recommended moving PAHSMA’s marketing communications focus from the ruins and buildings to a position more in keeping with its interpretation strategy, focused on Port Arthur’s historical figures and their stories.

Through highlighting the stories of eight historical figures, various aspects of the Sites and the visitor experiences available there are made apparent to the reader/viewer. In the past, PAHSMA has struggled to communicate the scale and range of experiences available at our sites to intending visitors. Tackling this issue is a key focus of PAHSMA’s Marketing Plan.

Developing the communications themselves has been a substantial task. Julia Clark’s depth of knowledge and skill as a researcher and writer was invaluable in the identification of suitable characters and preparation of their stories. Local copywriter Maura Bedloe helped focus the key messages and Lynda Warner developed the strong and emotionally engaging visuals based in large part on previously-commissioned photographs by Hobart photographer Peter Whyte. PAHSMA Conservation Project Officer Michael Smith contributed items from PAHSMA’s collections that were photographed as details.

The website was developed in collaboration with the former Department of Environment, Parks, Heritage and Arts, and subsequently the Department of Primary Industry, Parks, Water and Environment. The design for the website was by Hobart firm Future Medium.

Strategic focus

Apart from their emotional impact and message strength, other benefits of the new communication strategy include flexibility to include diverse activities that have previously struggled to ‘fit’ under the Port Arthur Historic Sites umbrella brand, including the Coal Mines and the Ghost Tours and our gardens. It also has the capacity to highlight aspects of the Sites, such as the Separate Prison, Isle of the Dead, and Dockyards. It can be revised and updated in years to come as needed.

The communications will start to appear in the New Year, coinciding with the new website going online.

New marketing campaign for Port Arthur Historic Sites

Above and below, examples of the new Port Arthur Historic Sites marketing communications

New marketing campaign for Port Arthur Historic Sites