Fresh eyes

Let’s shout for the digital north

Lets shout for the digital north
Paul Tustin Client Director PR & Comms Headshot

Written by Paul Tustin,
PR & Communications Director at Freshfield

It seems that only a minute percentage of marketing business is being done beyond the boundaries of London.

Despite the burgeoning digital industries growing up around the convergence of online and offline media, and seemingly unstoppable growth of social media, the north is still seen as a hinterland, it would appear.

This was an emerging theme from the conference organised by North West Business Insider held this week in Manchester at The Lowry, overlooking the spiralling buildings of the new digital age, MediaCity.

Everyone in the room agreed that the north has more to offer in marketing terms or, indeed, in any other sector of the new business world.

But we struggled to find out what it is that we have to offer and how to communicate it to the wider business communities of the UK, Europe and even beyond. What makes us different? Yes, we are creative, we’re as good as any of the large creative and marketing businesses with headquarters in London, we’re determined and committed.

As a northerner still living and working in the north, I think the answer is very simple. It’s that northernness. Northern grit, laced with creativity and a twist of the odd genius. It’s all here.

We all agreed that we aren’t going to let this opportunity pass us by, we’re going to use MediaCity and the opportunities it presents in this new digital and media revolution. Manchester was once the capital of the former industrial revolution, why should it not be the leader in the current one?

The facts and figures of opportunities are immense. A senior Facebook executive recently said that ‘We’re one per cent done’ which leads us to believe that there is much more on offer round the corner. But where is that work going?

Can we seize it and help ourselves?

Certainly, the development of MediaCity is great news for all of us. Jobs, investment and a focus on Manchester specifically and the north west in general.

Maybe as northerners we’ve lost sight of our greatest asset, ourselves. Maybe we don’t shout loud and hard enough about our skills, creativity and our sheer raw passion? Let’s get shouting.

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