An initiative designed to help tourism businesses across the area attract more visitors has been launched by tourism body VisitAberdeenshire. The “A Shared Story for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire” toolkit is supplied to businesses free of charge so that they can deliver consistent marketing messages to potential visitors in order to inspire them to come to the region.
The toolkit offers suggestions and tips on how businesses can use common themes, words and phrases, imagery and tone in their marketing materials. It was developed following in-depth research and a series of industry discussions and workshops carried out by independent consultants, Blue Sail. It is described as a ‘recipe book’ where businesses can follow the recipe word for word or can adapt the recipes to suit the ingredients they have. The toolkit, which contains some example imagery from the local area, will be further augmented by access to a photographic and video library. This will again be supplied free to businesses when it becomes available.
Blue Sail identifies the key features which are unique and special to the area as:
It is ‘true’ – a place which is authentic and real; Doric culture – everyday language and music in particular; The scale of the place – its landscapes and seascapes; Location and latitude – big skies, clarity and changing light; Long history – characterised by multitude of castles and royal associations as well as golf and whisky distilleries; A proud international city – unique architecture, with global connections; Importance of the natural world – the elements, wildlife and plant life;
“The most successful tourism destinations have a simple story to tell,” says Nikki Morris-Laing, marketing director of VisitAberdeenshire. “The ‘Shared Story’ toolkit gives a way of describing the area with a few simple themes and messages.”
The toolkit gives one over-arching story for the region and also shared stories for Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and the Banffshire coast, Royal Deeside, castles, whisky, golf, festivals and events, food and drink, and outdoor activities. Giving guidance on tone of voice, the toolkit recommends a conversational tone which is clear and direct; welcoming and approachable; and positive and confident. Businesses are encouraged to use the stories to inspire content in their marketing campaigns including in their websites, across social media platforms, leaflets and brochures and press releases.