Muckle Media also proposed implementing a different strategy for each media target:
Internationally, HIE would be positioned as an example of economic and community development, having originally been set up to solve ‘the Highland problem’ and help bring the region out of decline.
Nationally, comparisons could be made to the development of other UK regions. The most compelling statistics were identified by Muckle Media and pitches made to economics editors at national media. Sector specific pitches were also created to share case studies of the growth of each sector and businesses within it in the region.
Locally, HIE has a strong presence and already features regularly in local media. To increase interest and offer a visual representation of the anniversary Muckle Media proposed creative photography which the communities and businesses in each region could get involved with.
Muckle Media adapted its approach for each media target:
International: Muckle Media identified that holding a media event in London would allow key representatives of HIE to meet London-based journalists at international media and tell the story of the economic development of the Highlands and Islands. HIE representatives including Alex Paterson, Chief Exec, Lorne Crerar, Chair of HIE, and Calum Davidson, Head of Energy, shared news and developments of businesses, communities and sectors in the region.
National: Muckle Media developed an initial press release to compare the Highlands and Islands from 1965 to 2015 and showed how HIE has helped make the region a desirable place to live, work and study.
Sector specific pitches were also conducted across energy, food and drink, life sciences, entrepreneurship, tourism, universities, business services and creative industries. Interviews with various heads of sectors and key businesses were offered alongside case studies which resulted in coverage on the growth within each sector and aims for the future.
Local: To increase interest for local media Muckle Media commissioned interesting photography.
Each community was asked to create a commemorative 50 out of materials which represent the area and the community spirit. 50s were created and photographed in an attractive location to generate a striking collection of regional images. Muckle Media researched the best locations and how to create the 50s before deciding on the following:
Argyll and the Islands: School children at Kilfinan Community Forest Company
Caithness and Sutherland: Golf balls at Royal Dornoch Golf Club
Inner Moray Firth: University of Highlands and Islands students/staff at new Inverness Campus
Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross: West Highland College outdoor adventure studies students at Kyleakin Beach
Moray: Toy windmills at Findhorn Beach with local children
Orkney: Crabs at Stromness Harbour by Orkney Fishermen’s Society
Outer Hebrides: 50 created from Harris Tweed
Shetland: Fiddlers at Shetland Arts Development Agency
After deciding on the photography for each region based on what materials would provide the most striking images, feasibility of the best locations and community group availability, Muckle Media set about organising logistics.