Innovation tools Kent

Digital toolkit for SMEs 

Maritime and coastal visitor destination identity study (DNA) in the Medway pilot area has been conducted and involved:

1. Desk research & visiting the destination
2. Stakeholder engagement through interviews and workshops

As a result, the study set out a new Medway story which is based on the ‘pillars’ of a small number of themes that have emerged from ‘funnelling’ the evidence and applying insight. These are at the heart of why the place is distinct, special and reflective of its assets and character. They are the priorities for what is communicated and how the place is developed; they may not be fully in place within Medway currently but they are vital for its future positioning.

The study recommends greater focus in communications on the following three themes:

Making maritime
Maritime heritage is well entwined in Medway and it represents a significant aspect of the area’s DNA. The idea now is to tap into the maritime and military history (crossing point, the Historic Dockyard Chatham, Ford Amherst, the castles) and to bring it into the present, revive the stories and present the identity in a captivating way.

Living stories
Medway is a place with many stories and these need to be reinterpreted taking into account the residents, visitors and businesses, creating a sense of pride, through events and storytellers, joining up the towns through adequate signage to lead to the creation of experiences.

Creating Medway’s mosaic
This relates to the importance of the city scale of Medway and the linkages of the five towns within it and how by packaging up the assets across the area visitors will see the full visitor offer and find this attractive.  Use the linkages to other key assets, e.g. the Kent brand, the universities and their visiting families and being on the doorstep of London - so many pieces coming together to build the mosaic.

Alongside these themes is the ‘big idea’ developed to be the ‘strategic signature’ of the place and the compelling summation of Medway’s distinctiveness.

Over time this shared sense of purpose and ambition will help to develop a unique ‘sense of place’ for Medway as the story becomes the framework for the development of the place experience. There will not only influence the communications and promotion but also the development and delivery of products and services, the environment and public realm within which these exist, and the behaviour of those involved in the welcome.

                          The Big Idea - ‘Medway: a waterfront city’

The elements that stand out in this proposition are the significance of the river as well as Medway being perceived as a conurbation – with towns interlinked, feeling like a large destination. The big idea also ties in with the aspiration of offering visitors a compact experience and through place layering, it ensures that a wider target audience is reached through tapping into the key messages linked to maritime heritage, being part of Kent and very close to London.

The evidence, 3 themes and big idea were presented to Visit Kent, Medway stakeholders and target SMEs in late 2017 early 2018. Below you will find by means of background information, a range of summary document that have emerged from the step by step process with businesses and tourists in Medway that provide the key points to make up this toolkit.

Step 1 - Approach
Step 2 – Messages, Themes and a Big Idea
Step 3 – Towards best practices for storytelling & animation in Medway

The intention is to provide businesses and other stakeholders with the stories to ‘tell and sell’ Medway, to enhance and extend the visit experience, link attractions and experiences together to increase dwell time and optimise the memorability of each place.

3. A Digital Toolkit for Medway SMEs in the tourism sector

The Digital Toolkit seeks to enable and empower tourism SMEs in Medway and inspire others across the coastal Kent to do something similar. Download a quick guide on how to use the Digital toolkit now. 

Through a 3 step process we have assembled a series interesting information, tools and resources to help your business create an emotional and practical connection online with Medway as a destination. The themes and big idea, highlight the main assets of the place that emerged through a DNA study. The tools translate these findings into high impact and design led infographics and animations to help you communicate the Medway destination.

The digital toolkit is made up of the following elements;

Medway story
Medway photobank
Infographics
Animation

These elements will each be an inspirational tool for stakeholders demonstrating this shared and forward looking view of Medway. With a quick read, people and organisations will be able to see what makes the place special, distinct, what their communication priorities are, why people should consider them and really ‘feel’ the DNA of Medway.

THE MEDWAY STORY

We want to make sure you can make the most of the place you are in and communicate the many special things that make up Medway.

To do this we’ve created a story of the place based on a ‘big idea’ which is an overarching view of what the place can be and a small number of themes which are things that Medway need to talk about and develop. You can see these in the presentation; they’re not marketing messages but areas of focus. These have then been used as the basis for the narrative you also have which is a forward looking view of how Medway is different and stand out. This narrative is the driving force behind the photography, infographics and animation that are all there to help you sell the place.

MEDWAY PHOTOGRAPHY

The photobank provides vibrant imagery for you to use in your communications and helps to bring to life the Medway story.  The photography goes beyond simply taking pictures of buildings and landscapes but instead aims to tell a more layered story which connect with the visitor experiences in Medway. With new imagery think about clever use of foreground and background to tell more than one story, animate the images with people and experiences, for examples take photos of people taking photos of key Medway attractions and people enjoying drinks by the river. 

The photography can be used in a number of ways alongside other elements of the toolkit, especially the infographics and could perhaps be used as imagery on websites, on posters, advertising leaflets and on pop-up banners.

 View and access images under theme 1 - Medway general images
 

4Medway south 3 Credit Visit Kent

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View and access images under theme 1 - Medway living stories 

26Medway living stories credit Visit Kent Ltd

zip

Download HiRes zip here



View and access images under theme 2 - Medway - maritime history 

2Medway maritime history HMS Cavalier The Historic Dockyard Chatham credit Robert Radford
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View and access images theme 3 - Medway mosaic 

11Medway mosaic credit Visit Kent Ltd

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MEDWAY INFOGRAPHICS

Infographics are preferable and keep people’s interest for longer by lending a storytelling and visual element to key information rather than lengthy text containing the same content. The visuals help the reader to process the content more efficiently, making them a fantastic and relatively easy way to ensure key elements of the Medway story are committed to the audience’s memory.

With the infographics included within the toolkits as JPEGS, stakeholders can utilise these key snippets of information and key messages to relevant audiences within their own communications.  For example, they could be used alongside photography within advertising print and be used on websites. 

Probably of even more importance, these infographics can be shared very easily among different social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and allow businesses the opportunity to utilise these as a way to increase their profile, and focus communications around the key messages relevant to Medway.

In addition to the JPEGS, the icons have also been supplied in an .AI format alongside the designed textures and fonts, which allows organisations to design their own infographics more relevant to their own business operations yet still have the same brand feel for Medway.

View and access Medway infographics 

1Over a cosy coffee credit Visit Kent Ltd
zipDownload HiRes zip here

Download additional HiRes and Indesign files for graphic design and font style advice

MEDWAY ANIMATION

The animation sequence for Medway has been developed to act as a quick yet effective way to give a flavour of Medway, not a pin point of every attraction and point interest from a visitor perspective, and join up the assets to create an experience which a potential visitor would find appealing.  The intention is to create interest and intrigue in an impactful, vibrant and fun way with the viewer that would then encourage them to explore further information about the area, with the ultimate aim that they would wish to visit Medway and see it for themselves. 

Watch & embed the INTERREG PROFIT animation in your website


Download an easy to use guide on the Digital Toolkit now