Business leaders, students, visitors and residents are the most powerful, passionate and authentic advocates of any town or city.
People, who live and breathe Bristol and Bath get the message across better than any other form of advertising or promotion.
Why is that? I will give you an example.
Tom runs a small, leading digital agency in Bath. He set the business up here after graduating from the University of Bath and knew he could get the talent and have a great lifestyle. But the majority of his clients are in London.
At times Tom has to justify why he is not in London. Why is a leading law firm on the 35th floor Canary Wharf hiring a small agency from a West Country city that is known for its impressive architecture, great shopping and a decent rugby team?
If Tom is going to get the business he is going to have to start changing these perceptions.
He is going to be telling his clients that the quality of talent is second to none in Bristol and Bath. He will tell them about the accessible cluster and networks, unlike anything in London. He will tell them about his amazing lifestyle making the most of two diverse cities, quality schools and easy walk to work.
He will be saying the problem is that we are one of the biggest secrets in the country.
This sort of personal testimonial is dynamite and is repeated countless times, from every different type of business with every different type of client. We just need to start harnessing it.
Why should we care about all this? We are the region’s inward investment agency and we can’t do the job ourselves. We need the help of every well travelled business person who don’t even realise they are already doing it.
We want to build a huge network across Bristol and Bath that empowers people who are doing it anyway to sell the region. To give them the tools and knowledge to go alongside their own personal story to give credence to their story and to give us a voice-piece we could never have alone.
It’s a big challenge so we are starting small. In the forthcoming weeks we will be trialling a few new tools that we will make more widely available to businesses. We will be developing special feedback channels so if one of our advocates (or Ambassadors) finds a company that might want to set up in Bristol and Bath, we have a way of coming in and supporting it.
We will be developing regular communication to our Ambassadors so that they can stay on top of what is happening and what will be happening next.
We are excited by this and have lots of ideas, so if you feel you could contribute, please drop us a line.