ITV Border filming on our client's site: Bringing people together

Cameraman, Andrew from ITV Border at the Keswick Pencil Factory

Cameraman, Andrew from ITV Border at the Keswick Pencil Factory

As we continue to provide Public Relations consultancy for the pencil factory refurbishment in Keswick and have media, such as ITV Border, visit the site, we get to tell the story of the ‘Derwent Project’. And the story is not really about a building. It is about people - about bringing people together.

The site will allow supporters of the Keswick Convention to celebrate their faith together on one site. For more than 140 years people from all over the world come to Keswick for Bible teaching and a time of refreshment in the Lake District. As they return to their places of work and ministry, they often return to serve in some of the poorest and underprivileged areas of the world, including in the UK. Creating a space for them to gather and then to go out and give of themselves is a wonderful opportunity. Bringing the event together on one site, i.e. where the pencil factory is, will make it possible for children and parents, singles - and grandparents - to no longer have to rush between one end of the town to the other for their different programmes, but to be in one area together, - making the event truly inter-generational.

In addition, having worked carefully and very intentionally with members of the local community, the charity has not only identified areas of public interest, but addressed these in the planning process, creating multiple opportunities for locals to benefit from the newly developed site.

The site will bring jobs, function as a much-needed conference centre and an important community hub. Business tourism can be mobilised, local businesses can use the facilities for meetings and conferences and churches and church groups will be able to take part in the charity’s training events or organise their own.

The pencil factory site has been derelict for 12 years - and it is exciting, now, to see new life being breathed into it. With it, we will hopefully also see more community spirit and willingness to work together and maximise the opportunities resulting from this unique project.

It is here that Public Relations shows its true value. While it supports organisations and businesses, it also, as intermediary between organisations and their stakeholders, helps raise awareness of the varying parties and identifies ways these can work more closely together. Public Relations professionals need empathy and insight into how people, communities and media work and what they each value and then provide their clients with advice and tools to help them create stronger community interaction.

In the case of the pencil factory refurbishment, Zeitgeist Communication has worked closely with Keswick Ministries in creating a clear vision and communication that signals a listening and understanding attitude towards local stakeholders. The charity has, since, made great strides in bridging perceived gaps. More work will be needed and the example of this last year and a half shows that much can be accomplished when people engage and continue to engage for the sake of community and the greater good.

We, certainly are looking forward to seeing more of the story unfold.

Zeitgeist Communication supported the planning application for this £10m development project through strategic communications planning, Public Relations support and ongoing Media Relations, including social media and event app communication.

Media coverage extended across the North West of the UK with weekly print and online coverage. National media and TV media coverage was also created and resulted in positive audience interaction locally, among national supporters and on social media. - Key to the ongoing communications process was an integrated communications strategy and a strong community focus.
— Jutta Devnish, Managing Director, Zeitgeist Communication