9 pieces of good comms from Yorkshire


Commscampnorth is an event for public sector people wherever they come from.

It’s an unconference which means the agenda gets shaped on the day by attendees. It’s a formula that means bright ideas are shaped and connections are formed.

The 2019 event on 23.10.19 will take place in Bradford after being held in Manchester and Sheffield in previous years.

We thought it would be a good idea to take a look at some of the great communications that’s emerged from the broad acres of Yorkshire.

Who better to ask than some bright Yorkshire public sector people?

#1 Yorkshire is a name that resonates

The county name itself is a piece of communications, says Yorkshire Housing interim manager Hannah Jowett.

The place name inspires some things to be proud of.

“Yorkshire is an inspiring brand. Think majestic landscapes, thriving cities, cultural diversity and  culinary delights from Yorkshire Pudding to curry. It has Olympic and cycling heroes,  or cricket on a green. Yorkshire mixes ‘traditional’ England with modern progress to produce a  brand as authentic and friendly as its people.”


#2 A Yorkshire Tea campaign with Sean Bean on brand

Yorkshire is not just a place but a mindset and an approach to life that’s ‘proper’, web and creative services business partner at Doncaster Council Rob Jefferson says. He’s chosen the Sean Bean Yorkshire Tea campaign.

“It doesn’t get more Yorkshire than Yorkshire Tea, where they make ‘proper brews’. In their recruitment campaign, Sean Bean plays a member of HR inducting new staff to the company. Why does it work? It’s relatable, stirring and humorous, spilling out into the twitter replies too. My cup of tea.

#3 A video that seeks to break the mould

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s ‘My Mum, the Firefighter’ video selected by Siobhan Dransfield, marketing communications manager, Wakefield Council.

This is content that starts with the target of recruiting more female firefighters and then creates bespoke content that is targeted.  

“South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue have established themselves as creators of innovative, out-of-the-box comms.

“Their use of video in particular has been effective and ‘My firefighting mum’ was no exception.

“It’s a simple idea – children talking about what makes their mums great, followed by a moving montage of them with their firefighter mums. They deliberately avoided branding so it can be used by anyone – genius!”

#4 A charity with a human Yorkshire voice

NHS charity EyUp! was selected by Jude Tipper strategic communications lead, NHSD Digital.

It’s an approach that sidesteps the NHS branding template to be a bit more creative and human.

“EyUp! is an NHS charity that brings health and happiness to Yorkshire folk.

“The EyUp! brand uses a touch of local dialect to promote generosity for a local cause.

“It pays for the sort of stuff our NHS can’t always afford – the bobby dazzler ideas that make a proper difference.”


#5 A hashtag to celebrate community volunteers

The photo campaign with the hashtag #floodheroes led by Calderdale Council working with the Environment Agency was chosen by Defra communications specialist Catherine Seal. 

The images highlighted vital work in improving how the community was preparing against future flooding three years on from the 2015 Boxing Day floods.

“Not only was this an effective way of encouraging more people to prepare for wetter weather & do their bit to protect their properties – it was also celebratory of the amazing community spirit in the valley & a way for organisations to thank them.”myth

#6 Making visitors to Yorkshire welcome

A hashtag that started in the county and then snowballed has been chosen by Georgia Unsworth, senior communications officer at NHSX.

The #WeAreInternational hashtag that began in Sheffield seeks to celebrate difference.

“#WeAreInternational. Established by the University of Sheffield and its Students’ Union, it celebrates diverse university communities and the benefits they bring. It’s all about loud, proud messaging and content – supported by an army of stakeholders. In these divisive times, a campaign that celebrates unity and inclusivity couldn’t be more welcome.”


#7 Barnsley Council’s straight fly-tipping campaign

Direct content and a direct approach have impressed South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s Alex Mills.

“Yorkshire folk are known for being straight talking and bold- which is why I loved Barnsley Council’s #EverybodyThinkcampaign to cut fly tipping in the town.   From a publicity stunt where they dumped rubbish on the steps of the town hall, to using video of fly tippers vans getting seized and crushed the comms and marketing team thought big, showed bravery and delivered a campaign which packed a punch.”


#8 a risque calendar that helped upend attitudes

A group of women who posed nude to raise money showed spark and spirit and changed attitudes says inCommunities Housing’s Caroline Chapman.

“My quintessential comms is the Calendar Girls. With a simple rethink of an existing idea they raised over £5 million pounds, revitalized the image of the WI and inspired a film and a musical. They remind us to be brave, be creative, don’t be afraid to ask and have fun.”


#9 West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership get 45,000 people to look out for their neighbours.

The ‘Looking Out For Our Neighbours’ social marketing campaign saw the NHS and councils team-up to get people looking out for each other, says Karen Coleman comms and engagement lead at the NHS’s Harrogate CCG.

“As demand for health care increases, we need to see more people in their communities driving community change. There was an opportunity to create a Partnership campaign – the first of its kind – and make a positive impact.”



Picture credit:

Yorkshire landscape: Tim Green / Flickr

Ribblehead Viaduct: AndrewBone / Flickr

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