Icon's Impact: Optimising the Conservation Register to increase recognition and take-up of Accreditation
The Conservation Register is a public-facing directory which lists all of Icon’s Accredited members. Anyone can use the Conservation Register to verify a member’s Accredited status, or to find an Accredited conservator by specialism or location. Alongside the Register, users can find resources explaining what we mean by Accreditation and its importance, and checklists to help potential clients become better commissioners.
ACRs can also choose to take out an Upgraded Listing, as a place to provide contact information, training, work history, and project snapshots. The Upgraded Listings are a brilliant marketing tool that can be used to promote a conservation professional’s specialist skills to the public and prospective clients, raising the visibility of Accreditation.
This year, the Membership Team undertook an optimisation project to support members to make best use of their Upgraded Listings and to increase public awareness of the Conservation Register.
The Membership Officer, Jess Lock, used her marketing expertise to evaluate each Upgraded Listing, and critically assess them from a marketing perspective. Jess then contacted each member to talk them through the ways their Listing could be optimised to attract new clients, at no additional cost to the member.
The Head of Membership, Dr Michael Nelles, then ran a series of tailored Marketing Tips and Tricks webinars, open to all Accredited members but specifically catering to those who needed guidance on how to maximise the potential of their Upgraded Listing on the Register. This has attained consistent engagement from members and has become a repeated addition to the Events calendar, which features a wide range of generic skills courses arranged by Icon staff to complement the expansive conferences, lectures, webinars and other events delivered by Icon’s Groups and Networks.
Alongside the team’s efforts to increase Accredited member engagement with Upgraded Listings, several externally-facing campaigns were mounted to expand awareness of the Register – and the value of Icon Accreditation – among the general public.
In 2021-22, Icon launched adverts in 8 well-regarded sector publications, with a total advertising spend of £8000. Icon also commissioned paid-for website features on partner websites, placed advertorials in allied professional journals, and hired stalls at virtual conferences to promote the Register. Alongside this, the team delivered a successful social media campaign and published other resources promoting Accreditation, including this promo video.
These efforts were profiled in Icon’s first-ever Conservation Register ‘Year in Review’ report. This document takes stock of what is being searched, by whom, and from where. The findings underscore its growing international reach, with a third of all hits coming from outside the UK. With 72,500+ page views and an average of 35 daily searches, the Conservation Register will benefit from further marketing and development efforts over the next year.