Wow! I’m still getting over the excitement of the launch event for #MySW, the Town Team’s campaign to promote Saffron Walden. I was so focused on getting ready for the night I didn’t have a moment to think about what happens afterwards. I think there’s a lesson in there for me somewhere!
I’m sure lots of you will have read Molly’s blog post last week with her thoughts about how it went, so I try not to repeat anything. Wendy seems to have been even busier in the shop setting up for Christmas, organizing Black Friday’s sales and the Independent Retail Shopping Challenge alongside Jude Cox of Jack’s Outdoor. Does that woman ever stop? I’ve been keeping a much lower profile following the amazing media coverage the campaign received in both our local papers and the number of views the full length video has had on YouTube. So far it’s been looked at over 4500 times. Even using the most pessimistic conversion rates, we’re confident that translates into dozens of visitors to the town’s businesses and attractions. And that could mean several thousands of pounds for the local economy.
Lots of businesses are beginning to share the videos on their websites or in messages to their customers. Only last week I was delighted see that Saffron Hall included a link in their November newsletter. And Wendy has also heard from English Heritage that Audley End House and Gardens will be supporting the video. Saffron Screen has also promised their continuing support, and if you happen to be in the UDC reception you’ll see the video playing on the screen there.
Whether you’ve got a website and thousands of Twitter followers or, like me, just Facebook entry and a few dozen friends’ email addresses it would be great it if you could share the links anywhere you can.
Full 3-minute version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APvOU0WMVkQ
30 Second version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWAVxmpvbkM
The support and feedback has been amazingly positive and we also had some really helpful suggestions for the next video. This film is just the start, and we’d love to hear from you with ideas to make sure we capture more of the great things about Saffron Walden. Suggestions so far include the football club which is apparently the 15th oldest in the world and the amazing services our County and Town libraries offer. I didn’t know that there were mediaeval manuscripts to look at, or that library membership entitles us to use many of family ancestry sites free of charge. We want to film and represent the things you love, so please get in touch with Wendy either through this blog or pop into the shop for a chat. We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to be filmed talking about your favourite things in Saffron Walden. The next part of the campaign for the Town Team is a trip in January to attend ‘Excursions 2016’ at Alexandra Palace in London. This is a national trade show for Coach Tour Operators so they can plan their year’s trips and outings. Look out for more next month, but meanwhile please keep sharing the video as widely as you can, and let us know what it is you love about #MYSW.
Design Essentials was very excited to launch the #MYSW campaign on Wednesday last week at Saffron Screen. The evening was very successful, with free drinks and nibbles going down very well with guests. However, the main reason for gathering together an audience of local entrepreneurs and proud Saffron Walden residents was to showcase the wonderful town brand campaign that our very own Wendy had been working extremely hard on for the past six months.
Photo credit to Joe Higham reportage
The aim of the campaign is to improve accessibility and awareness of our fabulous town. In times when the internet dominates it is becoming increasingly difficult for our much-loved high streets to lure people away from their cosy sofas to do their Christmas shopping. So the Town Team has put a huge amount of time and effort into coordinating a radio ad to run until the 24th December on Star FM and a new video for the Tourist Information Centre, created by the talented Jonathan Glazier (from Pepper Raffety and ex head of light entertainment at the BBC). Emma Thomas, who collaborated with Wendy on the project said these advertising channels “aim to promote Saffron Walden and its great shopping to attract tourists and coach parties from the surrounding counties”.
In addition to the brand campaign, the team is also looking to use #MYSW as the foundation for the Saffron Walden entry in the Great British High Street Of The Year competition next year where the prize up for grabs is an impressive £50,000 to invest in the winning town.
Photo credit to Joe Higham reportage
Please do join in with our #MYSW campaign as it is as much for local residents as it if for us as a business so by all means share your own favourite pictures of Saffron Walden or your latest fabulous purchases from the many indie shops on social media with the hashtag – we’d love to see your take on the campaign!
Watch the 3-minute #MYSW ‘What’s Great About Saffron Walden?’ video here or the 30-second one here.
Tag us in your pictures on Twitter (@SaffShopLocal) or facebook (Saffron Shop Local)
by Molly Winter
WHAT: INDIE RETAIL SHOPPING CHALLENGE
WHERE: SAFFRON WALDEN
WHEN: 19TH NOVEMBER – 31ST DECEMBER
We’re very proud to be taking part in the Indie Retail Shopping Challenge, which is currently taking place in independent shops and businesses in Saffron Walden.
This is the 3rd year that the Independent Shopping Challenge has taken place. It has been organised by business owners Jude Cox from Jacks and Wendy Howell from Design Essentials, and as usual is being funded by the Saffron Walden Town Team and business owners taking part in the challenge.
This is year’s challenge started on Thursday 19th November and will run until 31st December 2015.
Participants taking part in the Shopping Challenge should drop their completed forms into the Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre.
Winners will be drawn and announced on the 7th JANUARY 2016, and will share a prize fund of £620 in shopping vouchers which can be spent across any of the shops and businesses taking part.
WHO IS TAKING PART:
Art at Home
Handpicked and Gorgeous
Mad Hatters Vintage Emporuim
Church St Gallery
Fanny and Frank
Riccio Hair Design
Joseph Barmes Wines
Goulds Pet Shop
Abracadabra Teddy Bears
Cafe Cou Cou
Saffron Walden Fitness
What’s Great About Saffron Walden #MySW
Wendy has been busy lately, on top of her day job, working with me on delivering a campaign for Saffron Walden Town Team called simply #MySW. We’ll be launching this officially on 18 November at Saffron Screen.
I met Wendy earlier this year when I joined the Town Team to look at some accessibility issues and it soon became clear that we were both passionate about Saffron Walden but also that the things we love about it are quite different. During one of our usual catch-ups working on a marketing strategy for the Town Team in Starbucks ( good disability access ) during May/ June this year we were chatting about this and I don’t know quite how we landed on the concept but that’s how #MySW was born and the help of Gareth Wild the designer at Apropos was enlisted
We’re now working to use #MySW as the foundation for the Saffron Walden entry in the Great British High Street Of The Year competition next year. The winners get £50k to invest in their town. For us the most important thing about #MySW is it’s something everyone, residents and businesses alike, can join in. It sums up the pride in our town and also that different people enjoy different things about Saffron Walden.
As part of the campaign a radio ad promoting the town and its great shopping is up and running until the 24th December on Star FM and we’ve coordinated a new video for the Tourist Information Centre to attract tourists and coach parties from the surrounding counties.
#MySW also links into the Christmas Indie Retail shopping competition starting on 19th November, and as soon as that’s underway we’ll be working on Saffron Walden’s Summer Of Arts And Culture which will include an event celebrating Saffron Screen’s 10th anniversary, having more art and sculpture in the town, and putting on jazz and theatre in the Market Square as well as spreading the word on the Maze Festival in August.
We will share all this over the coming months and hope lots of you will share your pictures and stories on social media using #MySW so all of us are part of it.