Place Marketing and Communications - Lessons from Enjoy Summer Safely

This summer, the reopening of high streets and businesses around Britain after lockdown presented place managers with immense challenges – but also with new opportunities to look at doing things differently.

Date added 9 October 2020
Last updated 9 October 2020

This summer, the reopening of high streets and businesses around Britain after lockdown presented place managers with immense challenges – but also with new opportunities to look at doing things differently.

There was an obvious imperative for high streets to reopen safely, considering all the new requirements presented by COVID-19 – such as implementing measures for social distancing and safe queuing.

Linked to this were significant challenges around communication. First, to make the necessary changes happen, places needed to nurture new and existing relationships, and bring together diverse local partners in a common cause that no-one had experienced before. There was a need to communicate clear and positive place marketing messages, to reassure visitors and other stakeholders, and make clear that high streets were, once again, safely open for business. 

Throughout July and August, the Government ran an “Enjoy Summer Safely” campaign, across social media, to encourage and amplify such messages.  In particular, during August, the campaign linked to, and ran in parallel with, the Government’s “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme, which incentivised people to support hospitality businesses, and was credited with driving increased footfall across the UK.

This short guide, aimed at local authorities and other place-based organisations, seeks to identify and showcase best practice in place marketing and communications during summer 2020. 

To do so, it draws from content shared by place stakeholders on Twitter and LinkedIn during the period of August to September.

By celebrating best practice, and summarising the common strategies and tactics that have proved successful for high streets in supporting safe reopening, we hope that those with responsibility for managing town centres will take away action points for their own marketing and communications strategies, while reflecting on their communications goals in the context of COVID-19 recovery.