Providing strategic advice and coordinating the roll-out of a multi-faceted engagement strategy

City Deal Investment Programme

Greater Cambridge Partnership

We supported the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) in 2017 on communications around its City Deal investment programme. With a growing group of voices speaking out in opposition, it was important that local people were engaged on the benefits of the City Deal.

What we did

We provided strategic advice and capacity to support the coordination and roll-out of a multi-faceted engagement strategy. We developed collateral, which was strategically communicated to ensure that the narrative reached as many key stakeholders, potential supporters and hard-to-reach groups as possible.

We simplified messaging to focus on geographic areas, putting residents and stakeholders at the heart of our communications and enabling them to see what would be changing for them in the areas where they lived and worked. Tailored leaflets were produced for the city centre, east, north, south and west and especially for cyclists.

We created conversations with key stakeholders and took steps to meet them on their terms by holding 35 pop-up events at transport hubs, shopping centres, networking events and specific groups/events.

We ran the #OurBigConversation campaign, which was launched at the end of September 2017 at a busy Cambridge United game to raise awareness and get people talking before the formal consultation started.

We also wanted to speak to hard-to-reach audiences: the time-poor, less mobile or those who would not want to engage face-to-face.

GCP’s social media channels were promoted to allow conversations to be carried out online (including setting up a LinkedIn page to engage local business people).

Through a carefully negotiated sponsorship deal with Cambridge United FC, we used adverts in match day programmes and engaged across its social media channels, including Twitter (approx. 58,000 followers) and Facebook feeds (approx. 78,000 followers) – to engage a large new audience.

The results

The results demonstrated success with more than 10,000 individual responses in total, with high levels of engagement at the pop-up events and on social media, as well as positive media coverage.

The success of the campaign was recognised with a Gold for the CIPR Community Relations Campaign category (2018).