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A North-South divide?

21 March, 2013 - Source: Kindred

Does the North-South divide exist when it comes to comms?

Anastasia Scott

I ask the question after a work-based trip to a snow-sprinkled Leeds last week, and a subsequent conversation with a colleague who pronounces bath as if there’s an R after the vowel.

We wondered whether it matters where you were born and brought up, or subsequently live, when it comes to how you then approach putting together a cracking comms campaign? Could we be so bold as to say Northerners are naturally better at media sell-in because they have the accents we prefer?

Or are Southerners better at client entertainment because they like a drink?

Full disclosure here: one of the many things that makes me, well, me, is that I was born and brought up in Carlisle. I might not have lived there for many years, but my heart still belongs to Cumbria. I’m evangelical about the Lakes, I follow Carlisle United and I know the circulation and readership figures of the News and Star (@newsandstar) off by heart.

Yet, I’ve worked with very talented comms people from across the country and whilst we might disagree about how to pronounce ‘glass’, the thing that makes the lads and lasses I work with so bloody great at their job is an ability to think outside of a London media bubble and embrace new ideas, but also listen to feedback.

That means coming up with great ideas that will connect with target audiences, wherever they might reside and however they live their lives. It’s about remembering that whilst we might love spending time playing with Vine in the agency, if we’re trying to reach women aged over 50 in Wakefield there are other, potentially more effective, ways we can do this.

It’s also important not to rely on stale stereotypes (sorry for the drinking jibe you poor unfortunates who were born south of the M25) and, as part of this, nothing beats spending time with the people you want to communicate with and actually asking their opinion. The ladies I met in Leeds were inspiring, vivacious and full of insights, ideas and recommendations.  We’re now indebted to them for helping us test our thinking and develop a better result for our client. It also made us realise that sometimes we just don’t do that enough.

With that in mind, I’m putting the offer out there for anyone who wants to target the redoubtable people of Cumbria – get in touch, and I’ll head home to God’s own county for you. Bay gud.


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