August 22nd, 2012
PR For Industrial Heritage Should Capitalise On Olympics Boost
People just haven’t stopped talking about the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, have they! It just seems to have been taken to heart by the whole nation, as part of the ‘proud to be British’ theme. This appears to be an opinion which transcends age, gender, ethnic origin and regional boundaries, as does another facet to this, which is where I think it gets really interesting.
The number of people who have mentioned ‘the chimneys’ to me and how touched they were at the sign of Isambard Kingdom Brunel surveying the overview of the Industrial Revolution is quite staggering. It appears, that after years of trying to sweep our industrial heritage under the carpet, Brits are waking up to the fact that we wouldn’t be where we are today without its immense impact. One woman even told me that she cried at this point in proceedings!
Now this has to be a real bonus for any destination tourism campaign or visitor attraction based around industrial heritage. For generation after generation, many of us have toed a line set by authors like D H Lawrence, viewing industrial landscapes as ones peppered with dark satanic mills puffing out vile clouds of smoke and destroying what one might describe as the Thomas Hardy idyll of rural England.
For once, industrial heritage is being valued and Lancashire and Greater Manchester’s mills, industrial museums and heritage centres and destination PR campaigns really need to capitalise on this new mood of the nation – fast!
Now is the time to up the PR for industrial heritage and generate footfall and overnight stays, encouraging families and individuals to take greater pride in our industrial past, learn more about it and, above all, connect with it in such as way as to be inspired to go and tell others what a great time they had exploring this period of history.
With a high impact and creative PR campaign, attractions and destinations to whom this new mood applies could start to remove D H Lawrence’s metaphors for devilish industry from the nation’s consciousness, utilising what the mass media and Olympics coverage has already started and changing the way we think about industrial tourism for ever.
Let’s hope that this is where that journey begins.