Tales from the big smoke: ATEED calls on Aucklanders to share their stories

Earlier this year, upon taking on the position as the general manager of global destination and marketing at ATEED, Vivien Bridgwater said that she wanted to tell the Auckland story. 

“We’re embarking on a research phase to find that authentic and distinctive Auckland story. And it starts at home. It needs to be a story that we as Aucklanders can all agree with.” 

And to achieve this, the organisation has over the last few weeks handed the reins to the 1.5 million residing in the city to tell their stories. On 16 June, ATEED launched  the #loveakl campaign, asking Aucklanders to share through social media and on the www.loveakl.co.nz website what they think makes the city great.

“We want to collect the views of as broad a range of people as possible and to encourage Aucklanders to talk about what works about Auckland, and even what doesn’t work. It may be cultural diversity, world-class events, the gulf islands, or growing tech economy,” said Bridgwater in a release.

The campaign is set to run until 10 July, and Bridgwater hopes to pull insights from the wide-ranging responses.

“We know some of what defines Auckland’s story, but the region is constantly evolving,” she said in the release. “We want to engage Aucklanders – whether they live here permanently or are visiting – to improve our understanding and create a positive sense of community within Auckland.”

And these points mirrior remarks she made in her earlier interview.   

“… the point is that we’re finding the story first, then telling it to the world,” she told StopPress. “So we’re starting by asking people: ‘what’s your perfect day in Auckland?’ You get a huge variety of responses, of course, which is the joy of it. And we can’t prejudge the outcome, though some themes have emerged with the water and the land playing a central role. But we have to let the story emerge first. Then we can get on with sharing it. What I find inspiring is that I meet the most amazing people who choose this city over anywhere else.”

Bridgwater believes that the stories shared by the Auckland community could be integral in lifting the profile of the city on the global stage.  

“If Auckland is to remain competitive on an increasingly fast-paced world stage and sustain a vibrant and competitive economy, Auckland needs to stand out from global competitors. It is international best practice for cities to define their identity and implement a strategic marketing approach to attract investors, international companies and visitors. Places such as Singapore and Brisbane are great examples.”

On a related note, a video clip produced by Auckland production company Omnicron for ATEED in the lead up to the Cricket World Cup was awarded a Gold Camera (first place) at the US FIlm & Video Awards for promoting Auckland as tourism destination.   

ATEED commissioned Omnicron to produce four videos after the agency pitched the idea of featuring cricketer Simon Doull sharing his views on the city.  

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