News and events

Gisborne Herald

Green light for major marketing campaign a big deal for district

13 August 2016, Editorial, Jeremy Muir, The Gisborne Herald.

News this week that Eastland Community Trust will back a marketing campaign for the district with $1 million over the next three years is fantastic.

Preparations for the campaign are at an advanced stage and, with funding now confirmed, creative work can proceed at pace for an October launch.

The outline of the campaign has been developed by a team put together by advertising industry veteran Roger MacDonnell, in collaboration with local stakeholders — and after considerable work by locals on a value proposition for the district.

The genesis of the campaign goes back more than two years to when Air New Zealand fronted up to members of the Chamber of Commerce to discuss pricing and the viability of its services here.

That conversation highlighted the importance of a district being able to speak with one voice, rather than have multiple contacts and as many different views.

As luck would have it Tairawhiti was in the process of forming an economic development agency intended to achieve just that, and lead efforts to boost the local economy. Another important timing matter was when Air NZ would introduce 50-seat Q300s on the Wellington-Gisborne route — which took place last month.

Activate Tairawhiti became the key contact working with Air NZ to create a win-win situation.

Representatives of the national carrier have kept in touch with developments here and have described work on the campaign as akin to what they would expect from a metropolitan centre. They are ready to apply their marketing machine to Tairawhiti’s benefit (and their own of course — though the Gisborne service is obviously a tiny part of the Air NZ business).

Activate Tairawhiti deserves most kudos for this initiative, but so does the council, ECT and Air NZ — for its co-operation and alignment with our region.

Activate’s good work, along with support from key local entities, means the district is now being seen as well-organised with a cohesive voice. Because of this, more external organisations are deciding to engage with Tairawhiti ahead of other districts.

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