Mayflower 400

Complete content support for an international commemoration

Mayflower 400 UK was part of a global event – marking four centuries since the Mayflower ship set sail from Plymouth, UK, arriving in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and changing the course of history forever.

It took place during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 – which meant much of the activity would need to take place digitally, meaning the organisers needed a reliable stream of high quality content across their key platforms – website, social media and email – using a written storytelling, powerful imagery and engaging video.

% increase in audience via Organic Search

Services provided

  • Website content writing including blogs, in-depth storytelling and flagship evergreen content
  • Specialist travel content and profiles of key locations that relate to the Mayflower story
  • In-depth news articles about projects connected to Mayflower 400
  • Landing page design and page templates for content
  • Extensive content for ‘trails app’ – a bespoke app that guides users through the villages, towns and cities connected to the Mayflower in the UK
  • Social media management and campaigns
  • Video production of series of mini documentaries designed for social
  • Regular email newsletters to a highly engaged database
pbmedia are clearly a results-driven organisation that became a natural extension of our team. They are able to plan content campaigns while reacting to the need to produce and distribute quickly when appropriate

Mark Howell, Marketing and Communications Director

How we did it

We started with Mayflower 400’s website – the cornerstone of the project. All roads led to the website – it was the placed that housed all the key information about the year-long commemorative event, the stories connected the Mayflower, the people involved – as well as the place that converted the audience into valuable newsletter readers.

We created a series of more than 100 articles of more than 1,000 words each covering key search terms relating to the Mayflower story – locations, passengers, key milestones in the story – as well as the new stories connected to the projects and events in the commemorative programme all around the world. This high value, in-depth content was designed to attract long-term audience through SEO, as well as improving the user experience of the website.

A series of mini documentaries around these topics was created with virtual and in person interviews created – these were housed alongside the written content on the website as well as powering a video-led social media campaign that attracted more than a million video views in total, culminating in a feature-length film that involved footage edited together from around the world – as well as a one-hour live video broadcast through social media that explored Plymouth’s role in the anniversary. These videos ran alongside a UGC-led social campaign that used people’s memories of past events and their personal connections to the story to create a sense of community.

A wealth of projects – including the ‘new’ Mayflower, a driverless autonomous ship – also needed content production which we provided as an ongoing service – attracting hundreds of thousands of readers as well as PR opportunities.

The website landing pages were updated with new sections designed for the wealth of this new content, with an internal linking structure reviewed and implemented for good site and SEO health.

The content was collated into a monthly newsletter with an open rate averaging over 50% – packed with this absorbing content as well as updates on events taking place around the commemoration itself.

The content was prepared with the utmost care and attention, particularly as this was the first anniversary of the ship’s sailing in 1620 that acknowledged and involved the Native American Wampanaog nation as equals – seeking to face up to the story’s difficult truths. Our experienced writers and content producers were well suited to this challenge.

Additionally, we worked with developers to create content for a bespoke app guiding users around the locations connected to the Mayflower story in the UK. The app used the power of Google Maps to create self guided walking tours with stories, images and audio about key waypoints in the locations.

As well as this campaign-led content we provided an ‘on demand’ service for content updates across all channels.

The Results

  • 400% increase in organic search to the website including 300% increase in overall visits
  • Total social media reach of more than 5 million
  • 50% open rate average on email newsletters
  • Worldwide recognition of new approach to telling story with careful brand management
  • Brand exposure for event sponsors to millions of users
  • One million video views


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