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Back to the Future with #TeamDTW

We all know its Back to the Future Day today. In order to celebrate the success of Doc and Marty we thought we’d go back to the future ourselves.

So we asked DTW founder Pete Whelan (the original one) to cast his mind back to the dim and distant world of 1989 when DTW came kicking and screaming into life.

You want to know how comms has changed in the past 26 years – read on.

You want to know how it will change in the next 26 years – that’s a different blog post. Watch this space.

Chris Taylor – DTW Managing Director – October 21 2015

 

Back to the future with DTW

In 1989….

Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web…

Mark Zuckerberg celebrated his fifth birthday…

… and DTW was founded by a bunch of enthusiastic mates who had no idea of the revolution which was about to shake the foundations of the communications world in the next 25 years.

It must be difficult for a generation brought up with the worldwide web, super-fast digital communications and mobile technology to imagine how different life was in 1989, when DTW came kicking and screeching into life.

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The first generation of slow, clunky personal computers was just becoming affordable to small businesses (we bought some, from a bloke called Alan Sugar – whatever happened to him?)

For our graphics studio, we took a punt at Apple Mac computers, the new kids on the block, as we began the transition from cut & paste and Letraset to slick digital design. I guess that’s been one certainty over the last 25 years, that Mac would continue to develop and deliver for designers.

Emails were non-existent. The important stuff came by post. The pace of life and work was a lot slower. Apart from the roads, of course – I used to drive down from Guisborough (edge of the North York Moors) to my central London clients via the sedate M1 in four hours, parking by their front doors.

In those days life for an agency was a whole lot simpler. There were just four basics for any client comms programme: PR; advertising (press or broadcast only); a new brochure (remember them) every year or two; and perhaps a “corporate video”.

Now that’s funny because video as a communications tool virtually disappeared for 20 years, then was sparked back into popularity by the emergence of YouTube and the emergence of a generation of people with an attention span of a few nanoseconds.  Déjà vu.

How did we imagine life in 2015? Well, the simple answer is we didn’t, any more than communicators now can guess what 2040 will be like. I guess we thought comms would be just like before but with more techie stuff to help…

Instead, social media in particular is changing the way the world works (and not always for the best), whilst the speed of digital is demanding instant response, bringing ever-greater pressures on communicators like us.

Did we think DTW would still be around a quarter century later? Possibly not. It’s a matter of pride to me that our agency is one of a handful which has survived and prospered through a world recession whilst adapting to the needs of the new communications landscape.

2040 here we come…

Pete Whelan (that’s the old one) – Founder and former Chief Exec

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.54.44

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#TeamDTW help bring the World Cup to County Durham

The Rugby World Cup arrived in County Durham for two days on Sunday as part of a 100-day tour before the Finals begin in England in October.

Rugby tour pic 4

DTW has been working closely with the Durham Rugby Football Union to showcase a series of public events where the William Webb Ellis Trophy has been on display and has been seen by thousands of people in the region from Gateshead Stadium to the Angel of the North; from Durham Cathedral to West Hartlepool Rugby Club.

Rugby tour pic 5

The trophy ended its stay in County Durham at Barnard Castle School where a celebratory dinner was held to recognise the great work done by all the volunteers in the region and for making the two-day leg of the tour such an enormous success.

England RFU President Jason Leonard and former Newcastle Falcon and England international Ollie Phillips were on hand to meet the public, pose for pictures and as a World Cup winner, one of the few people allowed to hold the trophy, Jason helped take it from the Land Rover convoy to it’s various public locations.

Rugby tour pic 3

Our team had great fun with Jason, Ollie and the RFU crew and we helped to generate tremendous interest from local media in the event which you can read, watch and listen to here:-

We’re looking forward to enjoying the tournament, especially the three games at St James’ Park and especially England beating New Zealand in the final!

 

Thanks to Mark Savage for the photographs. All photographs taken at the Festival of Rugby at Palace Green, Durham Cathedral and the Angel of the North, Gateshead.

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#Winning

Following last night’s PRMoment awards in Manchester, we’ve got another item to add to the #TeamDTW trophy cabinet.

We won the award for the Internal Communications Campaign of the Year jointly with Coast & Country Housing for the “I am Coast & Country” campaign, based around the video we created for Coast & Country Housing.

Award winning internal communications campaign
DTW’s very own Pete Whelan with Katie Anna Harding from Coast & Country Housing with the PR Moment award

The “I am Coast & Country” video has been used extensively as the centre of Coast & Country’s induction programme, internal communications and in broader external communications work. Coast & Country Housing is the largest registered provider of accommodation in the Redcar and Cleveland Borough, owning and managing over 10,000 properties.

 

Our 'I am Coast & Country' video has been used as the centre of Coast & Country's induction programme and broader and internal communications work
Our ‘I am Coast & Country’ video has been used as the centre of Coast & Country’s induction programme and broader and internal communications work

We were also shortlisted for our work with Hartlepool Borough Council. The “Hartlepool – A Vision for the future” campaign used video and mixed photography with futuristic artists’ impressions to create an image of how eight different sites across the town could look following development. In just five months, the Vision project has led to the direct creation and safeguarding of 300 jobs in Hartlepool and attracted £1.75 million of new investment.

The Hartlepool Vision project created or safeguarded 300 jobs and attracted £1.75million of new investment to the town in just five months
The Hartlepool Vision project created or safeguarded 300 jobs and attracted £1.75million of new investment to the town in just five months

The PRMoment awards celebrate excellence and recognise and reward outstanding campaigns and exceptional talent in the UK PR and Communications sector. The awards attracted over 650 entries from 200 companies from across the UK.

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“And the Nominations are…”

DTW has received two nominations in the prestigious PRMoment awards 2015.

In the Public Sector Campaign of the Year category we have been nominated jointly with Hartlepool Borough Council for our work on the “Hartlepool – A Vision for the future” campaign.

We worked with the council’s economic development team to create a communications strategy for the Vision which used a PR-led approach to inspire local communities to get involved.

The campaign used video and mixed photography with futuristic artists’ impressions to create an image of how eight different sites across the town could look following development.

In just five months, the Vision project has led to the direct creation and safeguarding of 300 jobs in Hartlepool and attracted £1.75 million of new investment.

We have also been nominated in the Best Use of Video category for the “I am Coast & Country” video for Coast & Country Housing. The video has been used extensively as the centre of Coast & Country’s induction programme, internal communications and in broader external communications work.

Coast & Country Housing is the largest registered provider of accommodation in the Redcar and Cleveland Borough, owning and managing over 10,000 properties.

The PRMoment awards celebrate excellence and recognise and reward outstanding campaigns and exceptional talent in the UK PR and Communications sector. The awards attracted over 650 entries from 200 companies from across the UK.

#TeamDTW is looking forward to arriving in Manchester in style for the awards ceremony on 11 March.