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The client

Social has been working with the NP11 group of Northern LEPS since August 2019, to position the organisation as the leading voice for northern businesses, operating as a ‘critical friend’ to government and helping to influence Westminster and national, northern and regional audiences across both public and private sectors.  

Acting as “strategic coordinator”, our work involves developing and delivering comprehensive multichannel communications strategies. Working closely with communications teams from across the 11 northern LEPs and several members of the NP11 leadership team, our activity includes PR, stakeholder engagement, social media and public affairs.  

We were also responsible for the coordination of brand vision and delivery of a website and events, including large-scale summits and parliamentary receptions. 

The challenge

We are the retained agency providing strategic communications, PR, social media and website support to the NP11 coast-to-coast group of 11 northern LEPs since 2019Our goal is to increase the NP11’s visibility and share of voice around the Northern Powerhouse and levelling up agenda, positioning the 11 LEPs as the leading voice of northern businesses, influencing Westminster, national and regional audiences across the public and private sectors. This work is focused on the NP11’s five policy priorities: innovation, trade and investment, place-making, digital and, most pertinently to this brief, clean growth. 

The solution

Working with the 11 individual LEP communications team and the NP11’s central executive team, we develop and implement integrated communications and engagement strategies that respond to the priorities set out in the NP11 business plan. Our work spans the full communications mix including PR, public affairs, stakeholder engagement, thought leadership, social media and digital communications and high impact events.  We adopt a strategic approach, focusing on a number of high profile ‘set piece’ events throughout the year.  We have delivered or provided communications leadership on a number of events for the NP11 including: 

  • The Convention of the North, September 2019 – which attracted over 1,000 delegates and at which the Prime Minister, then Northern Powerhouse Minister and northern metro mayors all spoke. We provided proactive and reactive PR and social media support, including running the event press office. 
  • The Manifesto for the North, November 2019 – we coordinated the publication of the first Manifesto for the North as the key output from the Convention, producing the document and delivering a high-profile PR, public affairs and social media campaign to launch it. 
  • Northern Energy Conference, November 2019 – we provided social media support for the first NP11 Northern Energy Conference, held in Hull. 
  • NP11 Parliamentary reception, February 2020 – we organised a parliamentary reception for the NP11, aimed at securing cross-party support from newly returned MPs for the Manifesto for the North. 
  • BEIS/ NP11 Net Zero North conference, March 2021 – we project managed and led all communications and marketing of this virtual conference. The event was commissioned by BEIS with only three weeks’ notice, and our robust project management approach coupled with creative PR and social media communications ensured that the key outcomes were delivered at extraordinary pace. 
  • Convention of the North 2022, February 2022 – we led communications and managed media relations on the second in-person Convention of the North conference in Liverpool, addressed by Secretary of state for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove. 

The impact

  • Convention for the North 2019– 31 pieces of coverage with an estimated 198,000 coverage views.  
  • Manifesto for the North launch – secured coverage on the front of every regional paper across the North, plus national broadcast coverage, uniting LEPs and northern political leaders in calling for more powers to be devolved to the region 
  • BEIS/ NP11 Net Zero North conference – 496 registrations generated in two weeks against a BEIS target of 300 as a result of our communications and marketing activity. 27,702 impressions generated through live tweeting from the event. 
  • Convention of the North 2022/2023/2024 – secured 56 pieces of media coverage ahead of and immediately following the event and attendance on the day from BBC North West, BBC Yorkshire and ITV.  The event generated strong pan-Northern coverage and widespread engagement on social media including 70,000+ views of Convention tweets, more than 200 mentions, generated 162 new followers on Twitter and more than 1,200 shares on Facebook.