Is meaningful engagement the key to successful place management?

Alternative title – Or how can other places improve results in my place?

To work in place management, you just have to be brimming with passion for your job. 

I can’t imagine that there are any successful Business Improvement District Directors, Town Centre Managers, Council ED or Regen Officers who won’t go that extra mile to deliver the place that businesses, visitors and residents want to live, work and play in.  Therefore, we all get so disappointed when we don’t feel that they have got involved as we think that they should.

A sizeable degree of place management is pure common sense.  We all know frustrating examples of toy shops who chose to close on the evening of Christmas Light switch-on or the shop that shuts early on a Wednesday just because they always have or the meeting that we organised that is almost certain to improve the business trading environment which is poorly attended etc, etc….

Download All Issues of Revive & Thrive's Place for Towns and Cities Magazine here
Download all issues of Place Magazine here

BID development is becoming increasingly tricky despite the numerous additional communication channels that we all have access to.  Naysayers also have access to these channels and are more than happy to use these to disrupt the ballot.

However, the number of BIDs are increasing and we all still believe that the projects that we are delivering will improve our places.

So, if we are right and they are all wrong why can’t we move the tide of opinion and more importantly encourage businesses and residents to pause and consider the opportunities that we are sharing?

This is not a negative thought piece and there are many inspirational and successful projects taking place every day across the UK but I would be surprised if any one reading this wouldn’t wish for better engagement.

With all of this in mind, I ask, is our current on-going multi-channel marketing just maintaining profile and not growing engagement and support?  It certainly is essential and I am not decrying its value but we should pause and ask if it still delivering change.

All places have ‘champions’ that we call on as examples of success to prove a point or demonstrate success.  Using champions can move opinion in the right direction because they are always respected peers and not ‘from the Council’ or ‘from the BID’.

It is this model that Revive & Thrive will be using to address poor engagement nationally.

Revive & Thrive's Local legend Campaign
Find out more about our Local Legend Campaign

We have set our ambition, over the next two years and beyond, to improve engagement between residents, businesses and custodians nationally.  This we are going to address as part of our two year Local Legend Campaign on behalf of frustrated place practitioners everywhere.

This campaign is not just to reward those hard-working community minded businesses and residents.  It asks people to consider how their projects and ideas are being delivered more successfully by working with other elements of the community.

As an example, the Holy Grail that we are seeking is a place that has at its heart a successful project or projects where BIDs, Councils, Town Centre Partnerships, Chambers of Commerce, regional FSBs are working with local businesses and residents.

The passion for these projects is liable to be led by an individual, or a group, or organisation or stakeholder like a Council/BID and these are the Legends that we are looking to identify.

Once we have identified them, rather like the ‘champion’ example earlier, we will promote their success, and more importantly how they can reach across a community, to places all around the UK and beyond.

The next four months will be a process of seeking and promotion through the Revive & Thrive networks and Place Magazine.  Allowing every place to inspire, be inspired and learn and implement new best practices.

All of this will end in February with a huge celebration of place based success, networking and shared best practice at Vale Royal Abbey in Cheshire where all Legends can meet with ‘soon to be’ Legends and create positive engagement nationally and locally.  One big place-based “melting pot, Big enough, enough, enough to take the world and all its got”!!

Coming up after February in the Local Legend Campaign is the ‘Do’ phase; six-months of ‘doing’ with our newly engaged and motivated businesses and residents.  Find out more about the Revive& Thrive Local Legend Campaign by clicking here.

I’d love to hear from you if you want to be involved and I’d also love to hear your opinions on the content of this article and how, together, we can increase engagement for the betterment of our local economy, our communities and our place.

Mark Barnes

Managing Director and Founder

Revive & Thrive Ltd

03330 124285 or 07590 005692


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *