GCS Campaign of the Month winner September 2021

Congratulations to the High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd communications team for winning the GCS Campaign of the Month award for their “HS2 in the North” campaign.

HS2 is a key part of the Government’s levelling up agenda and has strong Plan for Jobs content. A campaign to increase awareness of the benefits of HS2 has the potential to convert a further 1 million people in the North West to support the project.

This campaign promotes the opportunities that HS2 will bring to local areas in the North West of England years before the railway opens, so that it feels relevant now – including messaging focused on local jobs and skills, and how HS2 is already driving regional investment.

The campaign aimed to localise and personalise the benefits of HS2, and utilise the sense of local pride people feel in their hometown. This includes using local people and leaders to tell the story of what HS2 means for communities in the North and creating a bespoke visual identity, partly based on vintage railway iconography, capitalising on the established connotations of civic pride and ownership.

The campaign’s success is reflected in its outcomes, with coverage in key regional media outlets, including the Crewe Chronicle. Here are some top lines:

  • total print reach was over half a million
  • over 100k impressions on social media
  • videos viewed by over 9.5k people
  • stakeholders showcased the event through their own internal and external channels.

The GCS judges said:

“We have selected the ‘HS2 in the North’ as our winner on account of its effective use of audience insight to inform a localised media strategy and personalised messaging.

The delivery was also localised, through a combination of an in-person event, the use of print and online media (including video) combined with buy-in from key local stakeholders.

Furthermore, the campaign was developed in a way that makes it transferable elsewhere and scalable, adding further value to the campaign.”

Ben Goodwin, Senior Communications Manager in the HS2 Ltd communication team, commented:

“We are absolutely thrilled with this recognition – it’s a wonderful cherry on top of what has been a labour of love for us.

“As a fully integrated campaign, HS2 in the North is a true testament to the strength of collaboration taking place across our wider Communications and Stakeholder Engagement directorate. Almost every team contributed in some way to help create the bedrock of an exciting longevity campaign.
“We can’t wait to rollout HS2 in the North to more towns and cities that we will serve across the country, showcasing the localised benefits offered by Britain’s new high-capacity, high-speed railway, both during construction and once our services start running.”

Once again, congratulations to the HS2 communication team:

  • Ben Goodwin, Senior Communications Manager
  • Lindsey Preece, Senior Communications Manager