Hull: 2017 City of Culture Marketing Communication Plan
The city of Hull, known officially as the Kingston upon Hull is a unitary authority area under a city council and in the ceremonial east riding of Yorkshire county England. As per the 2001 UK census, Hull has a population of 243,589 persons. In addition to its rich history manifested in the various museums, Hull has quite a host of other attractive sceneries that make it one of the top destination areas in the UK. Based on the fact that the city of Hull was selected to be the 2017 UK City of Culture, it is a symbol of the far the city has come and how much further the city has to go not only as a cultural icon in the UK, but also as a tourist destination for the world. This essay is a marketing communication targeting adults from Hull and surrounding areas aged 24-45 who are have not engaged with arts and events in the past.
Over the years, visitors to Hull have been mainly tourists either local or international. With the 2017 city of culture event, the expected visitors are art and culture lovers, investors, as well as tour enthusiasts who would want to use the event to tour the various sceneries the city has to offer. The expected visitor population is to range between 20 years old and 45 years. To maximize the attendance and the impact of the 2017 city of culture event, this plan seeks to target the non-culture enthusiastic population in and around Hull.
Since the time of William de la Pole the first mayor of the Kingston upon Hull, the city of hull has continuously prospered to be one of the admired destinations in the entire of UK (Griffiths 2006). After local government act of 1888 which set hull as a county borough, the city has set itself on a development course of itself in all dimensions. Politically, under the city council the city is politically stable, with some of the notable tourist’s destinations in the UK.
Culturally, Hull has a vibrant arts and culture that is marked by numerous museums that are of importance to the entire of UK. Based on the city’s firm theatrical culture, the heritage of Hull is littered with numerous notable actors and writers. This is one of the primary visitor attractions for the city. In addition, the city has remarkable architecture which is complimented by outstanding well manicured parks and squares (Mooney 2004). For Hull visitors who are not art and culture enthusiasts, these are sure to make the experience memorable.
In addition to the rich culture are museums which are sure to appeal to both art and culture lovers and no lovers. Some of these museums include the deep, the street life museum of transport, Ferens art gallery, spurn lightship, and the public aquarium among others. Hull is also well endowed with theatres among them the Hull New Theatre, and the Hull Truck Theatre among others. To be mentioned in the same breath with theatres is poetry. Hull is the home of some of the globally renowned poets among them Philip Larkin who wrote some of his major works while in Hull (McKinlay & O’Connor 2007).
According to research finding, both local and foreign potential visitors to the city of hull have indicated that, if the city of Hull wants to attract more and continuous visitors, then authentic and effective holiday and tour destinations should be availed. This is one of the areas that the city of Hull prospects to achieve in the future even as preparations for the 2017 City of Culture event go on.
The communication plan is required for the purpose of promoting the city of Hull for the 2017 city of culture event. The specific objectives of this strategy are to;
- Foster community sprit – develop a Hull city community that will be the brand and the value for the city.
- Harness the various resources required to prepare for the 2017 City of Culture event. To this effect, the strategy plan is expected to be the rallying call.
- Awaken the city of Hull and the various stakeholders to the realization of the opportunities available by hosting the City of Culture annual event.
- Put the spotlight on hull city for culture enthusiasts as well as other interested visitors
- Identify the various critical areas of concern and how to improve them.
- Provide solutions on how to target a specific audience and attract them to visit Hull during the event.
To effectively reach and appeal the target population to attend the 2017 City of Culture event, as well as realize the objectives set out in this plan, an effective and comprehensive strategy is to be adopted (Baker 2007). This strategy will involve categorizing the various target populations, namely art and culture lover and those that would want to visit the city but not primarily for the culture events.
Based on data collected through the questionnaire used to collect information from potential visitors, the number of these two groups is distributed evenly therefore, each segment makes a critical target for the events (Anthony 2008).
Different but similar strategies are to be used to reach the two established segments. While the culture loving will be reached through adverts and promotions on what the culture event and Hull city has to offer in culture, the culture non-enthusiasts population will be targeted mainly on tour destination strategies (Baker 2007). This will include the various sceneries, museums, and lifestyle for example the nature of night life that Hull City has to offer.
The communication plan target persons between the age of 24 and 45 who are interested in sight seeing as well as experience the local culture of the City of Hull. To reach this audience, the plan will include promotional material locally, online, and through commercial media. The content to be carried in these promotions is on the various authentic sites in Hull, and the unique culture the city has to offer. In addition to those on offer, the city of hull will continue to review the best prospects it has to offer to potential future visitors. This reviewing is to be done with the objective of positioning Hull city as one of the top choice destinations for culture and sightseeing in the UK.
Time and financial budget
Even though the preparations for the 2017 City of Culture event began as soon as the city was selected to be the host, the official implementation of this strategy is April 2015. The strategies will continue up to the D-day of the event. Given the metrics and the time involved in the strategy, it is estimated that a total of £350,000 will be required. Revisions on both the time and financial budgets are to be done as the implementation proceeds.
The communication plan is to be overseen by the city council of Hull through a special task form. The task force is to be made up of various stakeholder of the City of Hull including business owners, art and culture personalities, resident representatives, and representatives of the UK government as well as any other relevant and crucial stakeholder (Baker 2007). The taskforce is to be made up of persons who are resourceful and committed to the objective of the communication plan as well as having the desire to organize a fruitful 2017 City of Culture event that will not only place the City of hull on the cultural map, but also the holiday and tourists destination for both UK national and foreigners.
The task force will be responsible for the design of PR elements for both above-the-line as well as below-the-line promotion. In addition, it is the responsibility of the task force to ensure that the right channels are established for the goal of reaching and informing the 24-45 years old target population that has not been involved in art and culture before. Notably, given this populations disinterests in art and culture, they will not be found on art and culture oriented platform like art and culture forums etc. t ensure that the various task in implementing the strategy are effectively carried out, the taskforce will need to hire or employ relevant professionals.
It is also the responsibility of the taskforce to manage this communication plan budget.
Through the services of qualified and experienced professionals for each of the respective area, the communication plan is to be implemented through the electronic media, the print media, and establishment of dedicated social media channels (Baker 2007).
Electronic media which is a major communication platform because it is sure to reach almost everyone, especially Television ads, will be one of the primary strategies used. TV ads are to be created by professional ads designers and presented to the various TV stations that target Hull and its surrounding. Additionally, there shall be radio ads that will be created for radio station that target the city of hull and its environs. In addition to placing ads in the electronic media, there is to be occasional public figure appearance in these platforms to talk about the 2017 city of culture event. This can be for example, the mayor being interviewed on primetime news, or even the leader of the taskforce answering questions related to the implementation process of this communication plan (Baker 2007).
Social media which is a major component in today’s society and especially for persons under the age of 30, which is part of the target population, will be used by having channels created for the various social media platforms popular in hull. Social media campaigns are to be driven and overseen by social media personnel. Some of the actions to be taken for social media include having groups that target the objective group in this campaign, posting and linking of the City of Culture pages to the various Hull-oriented pages in Facebook. Other platform to be used are twitter, Google+, and YouTube which allows for the creation of a dedicated channel and allows for visual capability which is useful in providing video snippets for some of the cultural, holiday, and sightseeing destinations in Hull (Richards & Palmer 2010). In addition to social media, a website is to be created that is dedicated to communicating all and only about the 2017 city of culture event, the prospects the event presents to the city of hull, and why both art and culture lovers and non-lovers should purpose to attend.
The other platform to be used for communication to the target group is the print media. Even though the print media has been dealt a big blow by social media and the online platform, still dailies and magazines remain popular. Ads about the 2017 City of Culture to be hosted in the City of Hull are to be placed in the various print medium that targets the city of Hull and its surrounding. Given this communication plan target the art and culture non-enthusiasts, these ads are to be placed in almost every print media that target Hull and its environs readers.
Because the action phase of the strategy is to be done by experts, to ensure that positive progress is being achieved and there is Return on Investment (ROI), the various areas of action will have to be measured appropriately by the various experts and have them report to the taskforce which is to be the overseer of the strategy. Additionally, control to ensure progress towards the realization of the set goals is to be done by gauging progress towards the established time and financial budget. In cases where the actual events lag behind the time budget or vice versa, it is a sign of redundancy hence the taskforce will be required to take the appropriate measures to ensure compliance even it is to fire seemingly non-performing persons.
In addition, the implementation committee is to carry surveys periodically for example, every two months to establish the effect of the communication plan. This can be done by seeking knowledge of the 2017 city of culture from the target regions through interviews, questionnaires, and polls.
Anthony, H. 2008. Understanding Strategic Management. Oxford University Press.
Baker, B. 2007. Destination branding for small cities, Creative leap books, ISBN: 978-0-9797076-0-5, Portland, USA
Griffiths, R. 2006. City/Culture Discourses: Evidence from the Competition to Select the European Capital of Culture 2008; European Planning Studies, vol. 14, no. 4; pp 415-430
McKinlay, I., & O’Connor, M. 2007. FCS Marketing L2. Pearson South Africa
Mooney, G. 2004, Cultural Policy as Urban Transformation; Critical Reflections on Glasgow, European City of Culture 1990; Local Economy, vol. 19, no. 4, pp 327-340
Richards, G. & Palmer, R. 2010. Eventful Cities: Cultural management and urban revitalization, Elsevier, ISBN: 978-0-7506-6987-0, Oxford, UK
Smith, P. 2011. The SOSTAC® Guide – to writing the perfect plan. PR Smith; V1.1 edition.