Today marks the 44th annual Yorkshire Day – which you will undoubtedly already know if you hail from that neck of the woods.
If you don’t, you’re probably thinking ‘so what?’. But – and this is coming from a Midlands native (most definitely not Yorkshire!) – I think we could probably all do with being ‘a bit more Yorkshire’ sometimes. It’s hard to think of a county that’s more fiercely proud of its heritage – and so unapologetic about celebrating it. Hertfordshire Day anyone?
Yorkshire Day has serious beginnings. It started in 1975 as a protest movement against local government reorganisation and has gone from strength to strength. There are some who would argue that it’s now become nothing more than a PR and marketing stunt but as the late Arnold Kellett of the Yorkshire Dialect Society said when speaking of its importance: “Regional distinctiveness adds colour. I’m against a grey uniformity spreading over everything.”
Dialect is just one of the many things that makes us all unique, so why not celebrate that diversity? An important lesson that applies to us all, but is particularly pertinent when it comes to communications.
Just as Yorkshire has its own dialect, so does every business or organisation – a set of phrases, buzzwords and abbreviations that makes perfect sense to those steeped in the organisation, but which might not be quite so obvious to those on the outside.
Good communications should be able to cut through the jargon and simplify what you are saying, making it accessible to all. But it should never be sterile. Who wants to live in a world where every company’s website reads the same, or every advert you see on TV uses the same language?
The key to successful communication, whether you’re an international business with a multi-million pound turnover or a fledgling charity finding its feet, is authenticity – finding your voice and sticking to it.
Knowing what makes you unique and what you’re famous for and working with it builds trust and engagement. Take a look at one of Yorkshire’s best known brands, Yorkshire Tea, which recently launched a new biscuit-flavoured tea – taking the iconic image of a brew and a biscuit to a whole new level. Their Twitter campaign has spread like wildfire and is a great example of a brand knowing what works and having fun with it.
So, this Yorkshire Day, I’m with Arnold. Let’s say no to grey uniformity and embrace the colour. There’s a reason why Yorkshire residents are the happiest in the country.
If you’d like us to help you create colourful communications with impact, contact us today.