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Celebrating the Tees Valley digital community

Over the last twenty years, Teesside University’s DigitalCity team have been at the forefront of the Tees Valley’s flourishing digital sector.

By sharing expertise, guiding start-ups through their business journey and creating a close-knit digital community in our region, DigitalCity has been integral to the economic resurgence of the area.

To mark DigitalCity’s twentieth anniversary and recognise the huge successes of the Tees Valley digital cluster, we were tasked with developing, designing and launching a publication that detailed this success, bringing together DigitalCity’s story with those of the businesses it has supported over the years.

This publication was to be released as both a physical, printed copy, and an interactive online version. The purpose of this dual channel strategy was to reach as many businesses within the digital community as possible, as well as providing a legacy document to support with DigitalCity’s future outreach and marketing efforts.

To launch this publication, DigitalCity also asked us to create a celebration event. This event was intended not only to introduce the Tees Valley digital community to the new publication, but also to recognise the achievements of this community over the last two decades.

11

businesses interviewed, to create engaging and compelling copy for the publication.

6

filmed case studies, integrated into the interactive online version of the publication and screened at the celebration event.

24 page

printed A5 publication created and distributed at the event.

Nearly 100

attendees at the celebration event.

Interactive online publication created and promoted at the event, featuring video interviews, timeline, contributions from DigitalCity staff and Teesside University senior staff.

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Our Approach

Knowing that we had a relatively short period of time in which to create the publication and plan the launch event, we quickly got together with the DigitalCity team to identify the key stories and themes from their twenty-year history.

Our first step was to work with the client to understand the key messages they wanted to communicate through this anniversary campaign. From the very beginning, DigitalCity were eager to place the focus on the successes and achievements of the digital community, rather than talking solely about what DigitalCity has done over the years.

Based on this, we developed the themes and messages to underpin both the publication and event, with the primary theme being one of celebration – celebrating what has already been achieved in the Tees Valley digital cluster over the last twenty years, the inspiring stories that make up this success, and highlighting the optimism and opportunities for the future.

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Delivery

Working alongside the DigitalCity team, we developed a shortlist of businesses supported through the initiative, ensuring a diverse range of perspectives and business types were included to ensure the print and online publication reflected the Tees Valley as a whole.

Many of these businesses were well known within the digital community for their quick growth and commercial success, with others more in the emerging and up-and-coming
talent category. We agreed with the client that it was important to provide this mix, to show both the success of the Tees Valley digital cluster already, as well as create a sense of optimism and excitement for the future.

We reviewed previous assets and materials that DigitalCity had used in past marketing, to ensure consistency and alignment in tone of voice and key messages. From this, we had clear brand guidelines to work from, and a full understanding of the tone to use throughout this campaign.

We collaborated with the delivery team at DigitalCity to reach out to the shortlisted businesses, scheduling both filmed and telephone interviews to create compelling stories for the publication.

These interviews were written up for the publication, with stills from the filming accompanying this text and bringing a very personal feel to the book. The video edits were embedded in the online version of the publication, and were also projected onto screens at the celebration event to bring
these stories to life even further.

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Celebration event

For the event itself, we worked closely with the venue – the stunning Wynyard Hall – to design an event that felt relaxed and celebratory, with street food and drinks ideal for a celebratory event. We designed the invitations to reflect this celebratory feel, inviting businesses and individuals from across the digital community to come together and get their own copy of
the publication.

Feedback on both the publication, the case study videos and the event was overwhelmingly positive, from both the client and event attendees. Those interviewed as case studies were effusive in their praise for DigitalCity and highly enthusiastic about being involved in the anniversary campaign, eager to spread the word about the support on offer in the Tees Valley.

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