#LoveHartlepool campaign goes global and reaches Africa as bosses plan for next steps
Bosses behind the Love Hartlepool campaign have praised the power of social media after receiving requests from as far as Africa from people looking to get involved.
Around two weeks ago the Love Hartlepool campaign was launched in response to the negative image of the town portrayed on national television by programmes like Channel 4’s recent Skint Britain.
Leaders of Hartlepool Borough Council, who kick-started the campaign, said it was time to ‘take a stand’ against negative stereotypes and start shouting about its many good things happening in the town.
Council chief executive Gill Alexander gave an update on the campaign to businesses in the town at a meeting of the Hartlepool Economic Regeneration and Tourism Forum.
She praised the impact of social media, helping the campaign spread across the world and encouraged people to use #LoveHartlepool on Twitter.
She said: “The reality of this town is that it is a fantastic place to live, a fantastic place to grow up in, and a fantastic place to study in, and we’ve got to get that message out.
“The power of social media we shouldn’t underestimate, we had a request from Africa for us to send packs of our Love Hartlepool posters and leaflets because people are wanting to start leaving them around the place they work in.
“We’ve had requests from the Isle of Wight from people who want to have Love Hartlepool stickers in their cars.
“It’s not just preaching to the choir of Hartlepool, it’s now beginning to percolate out of Hartlepool through simple things, through the power of social media.”
Council bosses said the next steps are to set up a steering group and formulate a campaign strategy moving forward, which should take place in the coming weeks.
Claire McLaren, assistant director of corporate services at the council, said: “It’s our movement to celebrate everything that’s good about the town.
“We want businesses to get on board with us because we recognise the integral part the businesses play in this campaign and this movement.
“We will be setting up a working group which we hope will take place in the next week or two and we’d love businesses to get involved.
“It will be steering the campaign moving forward and keeping the momentum.
“We welcome anyone taking part in anyway they can.”
Ms Alexander added: “While you can do a lot with a hashtag we now need to formulate a campaign strategy behind it.”
Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service